In August 2003, Arizona Bank & Trust emerged on the East Valley banking scene with one office and ambitious plans for the future.
Since then, the bank has enjoyed rapid asset growth and a need for more branches across the south East Valley.
Last week, it opened its sixth office on the southeast corner of Gilbert and Germann roads in Gilbert. And further expansion is planned, with a seventh location opening next year at Crismon Road and Southern Avenue in far east Mesa.
“We would like to open in August 2008 because it would mark our fifth anniversary and our continuing commitment in Mesa,” said William Frank, the bank’s president and CEO.
Arizona Bank & Trust’s products and services are geared toward businesses that are locally owned and managed, in addition to individuals.
“We look at Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe and Mesa as continuing areas within the state where we want to focus our effort,” Frank said. “Naturally with the continued growth ... it just leads to the conclusion that we need to be there.”
The bank’s assets now total $228 million, up from about $54 million in mid-2004.
“We have a really simple mission statement,” Frank said. “We believe through excellence in customer service and respect for the individual, everyone profits.”
Arizona is experiencing a resurgence of community banks, said Tanya Wheeless, president and CEO of the Arizona Bankers Association.
“Community banks were not engaged in a lot of the lending practices that have gotten a lot of mortgage players in trouble,” she said. “They keep doing their bread-and-butter work, which is small to medium-size businesses and retail in the areas they’re located.”
Arizona Bank & Trust’s products and services haven’t changed as it has grown, and it remains focused on personalized service, Frank said.
“It’s knowing who you’re doing business with,” he said.
With the exception of an office at Camelback Road and 20th Street in Phoenix, all of the bank’s offices are in the south East Valley. However, with all services accessible online, the bank’s client base isn’t limited to the region, he said.
“The boundaries are being eliminated as we expand our horizons with the different customers that we’re being introduced to,” Frank said.
The bank’s work force now totals about 60, including 13 in the area of wealth management, he said. Job opportunities are listed on the bank’s Web site, www.arizbank.com.
“We are continually hiring for the expansion,” Frank said.