For those with high net-worth, local banks fill a niche
By Lauren Glendenning
Brought to you by First Western Trust
The number of local banks across the United States is declining, and consolidation in the U.S. banking industry has resulted in fewer Colorado banks. The FDIC reports that the number of commercial banks operating in Colorado is down from 462 in 1987 to 78 today. This clearly means that larger banks now dominate the industry more than ever and hold the majority of deposits and loans in our communities, observes Charles Bantis, President of First Western Trust in Aspen.
Bantis also noted that “When you get away from the cities and suburbs and enter rural markets, especially rural resort markets like Aspen, the big bank model doesn’t always translate well. Homogenous, standardized products, centralized customer service and decision-making, and limited local authority can combine to make it difficult for those banks to make the adaptations necessary to serve a market as unique as Aspen with its concentration of wealthy families, individuals and seasonal businesses. High net worth clients don’t always get the specialized attention that their wealth requires.”
“Big banks also don’t usually have a high percentage of high net worth families as clients outside of major cities, so they don’t necessarily develop the expertise to work with them,” Bantis says. “The standard products offered might not meet the needs of those clients, who often have needs that span across the range of financial products and services.”
First Western Trust is a Colorado-based private bank and wealth management company, based in Denver. Its clients are wealthy and sophisticated, but more importantly, they don’t fit into a specific box. These clients are actively involved in continuously growing their wealth, which means they need to hire banking and wealth management professionals who understand their needs and plans.
First Western Trust offers a range of services that include investment management, wealth planning, trust and estates, private banking, risk management, and insurance, and mortgage services. At First Western Trust, this is the daily business — managing the complexities that go along with wealth, from estate planning issues to commercial banking.
“This is what we do day in and day out,” Bantis says. “We are very familiar with many of the issues that high net worth families face. I believe that First Western Trust is the only financial services provider in Aspen that’s essentially a one-stop shop for banking, asset management, trusts, insurance and more.”
Personal client relationships
First Western Trust associates know their clients by name when they walk through the door and also possess the authority to make high-level decisions without countless rounds of corporate red tape.
“At big banks, most loan decisions are made elsewhere, and local often can’t have access to those decision-makers,” Bantis says. “We know our clients. All of my First Western peers and I, as market presidents, have real authority within the company. We know enough about our clients to be able to understand their finances better and help them achieve their objectives.”
Personalized service is great, but it’s the outside-the-box thinking at a smaller bank that stands out. While larger banks might be able to lend more money or put loans out at lower rates, none of that matters if they can’t figure out your financials to underwrite you, or be allowed to do something different from the ‘usual’ way” Bantis says.
“It’s about knowing your client and having the organizational support to deliver what they need,” he says. “We make good credit decisions, but we approach everything with an open mind in terms of how to take a different approach to underwriting, as appropriate.”
First Western Trust will custom-design accounts based on client needs and preferences. It’s all part of their commitment to serving high net worth clients who often need more specialized banking services.
Charles Bantis, President of First Western Trust in Aspen, is offering complimentary ConnectView® consultations for prospective clients. Schedule your consultation before Jan. 15, 2019. Call 970-710-7201 or email Charles.Bantis@myfw.com.
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