At some banks, customers are greeted by a computer-generated voice and a menu full of options when they call with an inquiry. If they remember which number to press, they might be lucky enough to speak with an actual person. No more, said Don Anderson, senior vice president of Marine Bank, who is out to change the long-held premise that banks are aloof and uncaring. Anderson takes this concept so seriously that it’s not uncommon for him to answer the phone himself, offering a friendly, “Good afternoon” when tellers are busy assisting others.
Marine Bank is one of Southern Nevada’s newest financial institutions, located at 10624 S. Eastern Ave., near Horizon Ridge Parkway in Henderson. “We are what you would call a neighborhood bank,” Anderson said. “We do community banking the way it used to be. We get to know our customers on a first-name basis.”
Although many Nevadans may not be familiar with Marine Bank, it is a household name in the Midwest. It is a subsidiary of the Wisconsin-based CIB Marine Bancshares, which owns a mortgage company and six banks with more than 50 branches throughout Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska and Wisconsin. CIB Marine Bancshares reported $2.9 billion in assets as of December 2001. Last year the company opened a Marine Bank in Scottsdale, Ariz. and acquired Citrus Bank in Florida. The Henderson branch, which opened its doors January 7, is the first Marine Bank in Nevada.
This background gives Marine a powerful backing to offer its customers the most stable and comprehensive services possible, said Bill Mattan, president and CEO of Marine Bank. “While we look like we are a small bank with one office in Nevada, we draw on the resources of our parent and the five other banks in our organization,” Mattan said. “We can provide lending at some very large limits.”
The parent company’s recent expansion, including the branch in Henderson, is part of a strategy to serve the needs of a growing retirement population in the areas served by the new branches. Mattan said the bank would like to target the Henderson and Las Vegas business community as well, along with the consumer and personal real estate market. “The [Las Vegas Valley] is definitely one of the fastest growing communities in the U.S. and its economy is vibrant,” Mattan said. “We see it as a retirement Mecca. In addition, a lot of people from the Midwest are moving to Nevada.” Although no plans have been finalized to expand further in the state, Anderson stated it is possible the bank might open two or three more branches in Nevada in the next several years, depending upon business conditions, but “for now, we want to concentrate right here in the Las Vegas Valley.”
While Marine Bank offers the traditional line of services, including checking and savings accounts and consumer and mortgage lending, customers can also find specialty accounts, such as a seven-day certificate of deposit. Another unique service Marine Bank offers is an ability to cater to individual business needs. Mattan explained bank representatives are willing to travel to any business in the Valley to offer financial services on a personal, customized basis. “We do the one-on-one,” Mattan said. “We’ll go to them. We take pride in building and developing strong friendships with the businesses we serve.”
Mattan reported he is confident the financial institution has a bright future when it comes to servicing Southern Nevada’s banking needs. “We are really happy and excited to be here, and we are only going to get more and more involved in the community and business activities as time goes on.”