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Succeeding by Serving the Customer … and the Community

Published 09/28/2015

Today’s community bank is what it always was: a staple of local life. But the community itself

has changed, and The Westchester Bank embraces the differences.

The bank’s community is larger now, encompassing the wider business world. Technology has leveled the playing field.

John M. Tolomer, President,and CEO, says The Westchester Bank focuses on serving small to medium-sized businesses, and consumers. “We compete very effectively with banks of every size everywhere. We have the same technology but have the luxury to emphasize the personal relationship with business owners and consumers,” he says. “That translates into having the same products and services as the giant financial institutions, and delivering them in a highly personalized manner. Technology provides us the opportunity to spend quality time with our customers.”

High-Tech, Personal Touch

Mobile banking is available for the consumer, Tolomer says. So is remote deposit scanning for businesses. Scanning can take place up to 7 p.m. and receive same-day credit. While technology removes the need for numerous branches – although the fifth is in development – Tolomer’s bankers take personal service seriously, visiting customers at their workplaces to learn about their businesses. This way, they are better able to structure loan or cash management solutions that assist customers in achieving their banking goals.

Customers get multiple points of contact at The Westchester Bank so they can speak with local people rather than some 800-number voice, and bank officers forward their landlines to their cell phones when they’re out of the office. “Every client contact is an opportunity to strengthen relationships,” Tolomer says, “and every one of our employees provides world-class banking service to each customer.”

Programs Created to Meet Needs

Tolomer took the reins after The Westchester Bank’s 2008 opening. He spoke with previous clients, asking what might keep them from doing business with a new community bank. Maybe it was too few branches; most people used ATMs. Solution: The Westchester Bank customers are reimbursed for ATM fees worldwide – they can use any institution’s machine without charge. “Every time they gave me a reason they were uncomfortable doing business with The Westchester Bank, we would build a program that would effectively address that need,” he says.

The bank’s business model – Banking Made Personal – is no secret, Tolomer says; execution is the key.

Although only seven years old, The Westchester Bank was ranked 85th in SNL Financial’s 2014 listing of the Top 100 Best Performing Community

Banks in America. And just announced, the ICBA Independent Banker further distinguished The Westchester Bank as one of the Top 50 Community Banks nationwide as commercial lenders with a proven record of success in providing loans to local commercial enterprises.

The Westchester Bank is involved in the community, supporting nonprofit organizations through donations, volunteerism – and banking services tailored to agencies’ needs. “We earn our living every day,” says Tolomer, “with every decision and every interaction with our customers or prospective customers.”