First Fidelity Bank
First Fidelity looks to expand relationships
Many Valley business owners – including First Fidelity Bank President Kevin Sellers (left) – consider 2009 to have been one of their most difficult years ever.
“It’s been as challenging as any I’ve experienced,” Sellers says. “And I’ve been banking for thirty years.”
First Fidelity has never stopped lending, but finding enough qualified clients has become tough. The recession and recovery have many credit-worthy clients exercising caution and putting off expansion plans.
“The challenge is finding companies that wish to borrow and can demonstrate the capacity to repay the credit,” explains Sellers.
As a privately held, community bank, First Fidelity provides clients with the products and services found at a large bank with the client-focused advantage of a family-owned organization. Rather than simply cut a check, First Fidelity focuses on the entire relationship. The manager oversees all the client’s needs from credit to cash management and investment services to personal banking.
“We have a group of very experienced commercial relationship managers,” says Sellers. “We make sure they truly understand the client’s business, the challenges they face and their objectives and needs so we can really partner with them.”
First Fidelity has also taken steps to improve efficiency and dedicate more human resources to credit underwriting. This allows commercial relationship managers to spend more time with existing and prospective clients. Sellers expects his four Valley locations will add $30 million in commercial loans this year.
“I think the more sophisticated business owner with more complex needs, yet still in a small to medium size range, is better suited with a community bank because we have experienced officers who can spend the time to get to know them,” he says.
First Fidelity Bank
– Written by Christina Estes. This story originally appeared in the March 2010 issue of IMPACT Magazine.