|January 20, 2004 - LAKE OSWEGO, OREGON...A new bank, and an entirely new style of banking, is coming soon to the city of Lake Oswego. Called The Bank of Oswego, this new community-based bank will offer a comprehensive range of specialized financial products tailored to the professional and business community of the Lake Oswego area.
The Bank of Oswego is scheduled to open in the fall (subject to regulatory approval) and will be located at the new Lake View Village, at the corner of A and State in downtown Lake Oswego. The bank has leased approximately 7,500 square feet and is working with Design Classics, Inc., of West Linn to design the bank’s beautiful new interior.
What promises to set The Bank of Oswego apart is that it will be owned and operated locally, with a strong customer service focus. Rather than mass market banking services, The Bank of Oswego will specifically cater to the needs of local businesses, professionals and individuals who require a more customized, personal banking approach.
Examples of this greater level of customer service are the concepts of a “Mobile Branch” courier service and an “At Your Service” concierge that will provide community expertise, information and special courtesies, such as complimentary car service for clients.
According to The Bank of Oswego Co-Founder and CEO Dan Heine, the bank will be managed by a local Board of Directors who will have responsibility for policy formation, financial oversight and business development. Heine, who has nearly 35 years experience in the banking industry and who helped form the very successful Today’s Bank in Vancouver, Wash., says Lake Oswego is prime for a new community bank with a higher level of customer offerings and a strong local commitment.
Heine himself has relocated to Lake Oswego and is becoming active in community groups.The bank will target the following market segments: professionals with greater assets and income, small to medium-sized businesses, women active in business, entrepreneurs and retired professionals.
The Bank of Oswego will be a full-service financial institution, offering specialized services as well as traditional banking products, including on-line banking and mortgage and investment management services. As the bank grows and prospers, it plans to develop a stand-alone drive-in facility elsewhere in the community.
Although the bank will have a local, community focus, the idea behind The Bank of Oswego is to provide world-class service. The bank’s customer service employees will be graduates of the Ritz-Carlton Center for Leadership in Customer Service, a national renowned program that specializes in customer service training excellence.
Heine sees a great deal of opportunity for a bank that can best serve the needs of Lake Oswego’s substantial professional and business community.“Differentiation from the big banks in this market is very important to us,” said Heine. “Our business model has been designed to provide exceptional personal service with local decision-making authority, competent staffing, superior products and technology. Our goal is to treat customers better than other banks customarily treat them.
Each of our employees will be empowered to do what it takes to make customers satisfied.”Already, the bank has established its new look and feel. The Bank of Oswego’s new logo and slogan, Where You Belong, will begin appearing on signage and bank communications. Plans for the bank’s interior design call for a classic contemporary, comfortable look–with rich, elegant colors–which fit well with the surrounding Lake Oswego neighborhood and atmosphere.
According to Heine, a key priority for the bank will be to support community causes. One of the bank’s special points of attention will be to actively support local schools and education initiatives, and the bank plans to recognize academic excellence and student character.
Given recent trends in the banking industry, Heine believes the time is right to open a bank with a personal, community-based approach in the Lake Oswego area. “Our research indicates that local residents don’t have a true relationship with their banks, which has led many customers to feel as though they are treated solely as an account number or transaction,” said Heine. “Banks talk about customer service, but we intend to walk the talk. We believe that many in the Lake Oswego area will appreciate knowing that they soon again will have a true community bank.”
The bank will initially employ 12–15 professionals from the local area and is currently taking applications. The Bank of Oswego’s charter is subject to regulatory approval. It will capitalize with approximately $15 million, roughly double the amount of an average start-up bank. A private offering to area residents will be conducted during 2004.