After all the mergers and acquisitions taking place in the banking industry over the last few years, Silver State Bank is one community bank that is holding its own and continuing to thrive. Chairman and CEO Tod Little and President Corey Johnson opened the bank’s first branch in July 1996 in Henderson. The bank has now expanded to five branches serving individuals and small business owners, with two more under construction.
No strangers to the banking world, Little and Johnson have more than 40 years’ combined experience in the field. The two began their banking careers in a regional bank that was eventually acquired by a larger bank. “Both Corey and I were managers, and in the larger bank we lost our decision-making duties,” said Little. “That’s when we decided to open Silver State Bank and maintain it as a true community bank. Our customers can deal directly with decision-makers at our bank, and that makes all the difference.”
Because of the attention they have paid to hiring qualified and personable employees, Little and Johnson feel secure that the bank’s customers are receiving the best possible service. “With larger banks, small businesses and individuals can get lost. Our employees make sure all the customers receive the individualized attention they need,” said Little.
The bank has not only earned the respect of the local small business community, it has also earned recognition from the Small Business Administration (SBA). In late 1998, Silver State Bank was awarded Preferred Lender Status (PLS), making it the second community bank in Southern Nevada to have the prestigious designation. This status authorizes Silver State Bank to make SBA loans subject only to a brief eligibility review and guarantees a 24-hour turn-around time on loan approvals. “When we award Preferred Lender Status, what we are saying is that we put a tremendous amount of faith in Silver State’s ability to approve and process SBA loans,” Jerry Stephens, deputy district director for the SBA Nevada District Office, said. “We also have complete faith in the bank’s personnel and their experience and qualifications.” In 1999, Silver State Bank was named top SBA 7(a) lender out of approximately 40 SBA lenders in Nevada, funding loans totaling nearly $19 million from Oct. 1, 1998 to Sept. 30, 1999.
“At Silver State Bank, we concentrate on and specialize in SBA loans,” said Calvin Regan, senior vice president of Silver State Bank and head of the SBA loan department. “Each member of our SBA team has a high level of expertise, and because of that we get a high number of referrals.” In an effort to strengthen its customer service and the products offered, the Henderson-based bank recently launched its real-time interactive Web site that allows individual and business customers to access all their banking needs through the Internet. The Web site can be accessed at silverstatebank.com.
“More people and companies are growing comfortable conducting business online,” said Peter Crapo, vice president/director of marketing at the bank. “Today’s Internet-savvy users want to do more with a Web site than just look at it – they want to take care of their daily errands online.” The real-time Web site allows business customers to view statements and make stop-payments, wire transfers, internal transfers and account balance checks, and permits automatic cash handling, loan sweeps, investment sweeps and bill payment. Customers also have the ability to apply for personal and SBA loans online. “We offer a secure way for business customers to directly access their accounts and conduct their banking without leaving the office,” added Little. “We complete the cycle by offering a free courier service to business customers, virtually eliminating the need to leave the office to conduct banking business.”
With more than $250 million in total assets, Silver State Bancorp operates five branches in Southern Nevada through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Silver State Bank. The bank also operates loan production offices in Reno, Boise, Salt Lake City and Portland, Oregon.