Banking on trust in a pandemic and beyond

The Santa Clarita Valley Business Journal
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Tamara Gurney

President and CEO Mission Valley Bank

Never has the importance of community relationship banking been more evident than in recent months. The national rollout of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans had a rocky start and was anything but smooth. And while many large banks initially hesitated, our community bank fought through the funding difficulties to emerge as a trailblazer amid constantly changing guidance.

Any street-corner bank — big or small — can handle the transactional side of banking. Even non-traditional financial service providers have entered the banking space. While low-cost providers and special promotions may seem appealing, there is truly no long-term value generated for the client’s business.

Rather, it takes a team of Trusted Advisors who understand a client’s business to develop programs to meet their exact needs. As a community bank, our advantage over larger financial institutions is knowing our clients and understanding their businesses before trouble arises. This affords us the ability to immediately determine what solutions are the best fit for their unique situation.

We take our role as Trusted Advisors seriously and it is at the heart of all we do. We also take great pride in the fact that those seeking help are often greeted by a live person and receive personal calls from our bankers. I have heard repeatedly that the personal contact received from Mission Valley clearly distinguishes our bank from other institutions.

A simple truth is that banks cannot be all things to all people. By the same token, not all banks are created equal nor do they focus on the same core competencies. In addition to the overall client experience, businesses need to be sure their bank is a good fit for what is needed to grow and operate their business.

Lastly, to achieve trust, banks must demonstrate their dedication to a broader purpose. They need to prove they are not just driven by quick profits, but also by shared values. There is tremendous value in working with a client-focused, relationship-driven banker who will invest the time necessary to truly get to know a business and understand its unique needs. The path to long-term success is for businesses to develop long-term relationships with bankers who demonstrate expertise, experience and dedication to their success.

Mission Valley Bank is a locally-owned, full service, independent community business bank headquartered in Sun Valley, California with a business banking office in Santa Clarita. For more information visit www.MissionValleyBank.com or call (818) 394-2300.

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