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Thread: New bank coming to OKC

  1. #1
    Patrick Guest

    Default New bank coming to OKC

    Well, well, well.....anyone remember the days when Penn Square Bank was planning to build a new headquarters......later to be known as The Tower. Well, although many, including myself, still refer to this building as the Penn Square Bank Building, as many of you know, Penn Square Bank went under before the building was ever completed, so they never moved into it.

    Well, many banks have been in this buildings since, including Bank IV and Equity Bank. Now, a new local bank is going to give it a shot, and hopefully start where Penn Square Bank left off.

    Anyways, again, any new business to the market is great news. I'm glad this new bank is gonig to be headquartered in The Tower. That's a fine looking building. Penn Square Bank did a fine job starting it. It's just a shame that such a crooked company was involved in its construction.

    Anyways, it appears that thename will change too......Valliance Bank Tower. This explains all of the parking lot renovations that have been going on.

    "OKC gains first new bank in eight years: Valliance to open in early October
    by Ted Streuli
    The Journal Record

    There hadn't been a new bank chartered in Oklahoma City in eight years until two commercial banking veterans changed that.
    David Durrett and Brad Swickey's Valliance Bank received a national charter last week and will open early next month in a building many still associate with one of the nation's biggest bank failures 22 years ago.

    "We believe there's a place for a bank that is more customer-service driven and less product driven," said Swickey. "This bank will primarily serve the needs of the business community."

    Durrett, who will be the bank's CEO, said local ownership and small business backgrounds at the top of the management structure would benefit customers.

    "It's local ownership and we're a pro-small business bank," Durrett said. "Brad and I have both owned our own businesses, so we've been on the other side of the desk. If you have people who have just been bankers, they don't always understand the other side."

    The impetus for the venture came as most do: a combination of dissatisfaction with their jobs and a need they saw in the market. Swickey said both lenders had been through multiple bank buyouts.

    Swickey, most recently, went through the transition from Local Oklahoma Bank to IBC and both worked for Bank of America and its string of Oklahoma City predecessors.

    "We got tired of running," said Swickey, who will serve as president of Valliance. "We'd been through so many acquisitions, with out-of-state banks calling the shots. We had long felt that there was a need in the Oklahoma City business community for a bank that was going to deliver customer satisfaction one customer at a time."

    Valliance - which found its name by my melding the phrase "value of alliance" - will focus on business loans up to $1 million. Swickey won't call that a small business loan, a phrase he said is a label that doesn't fairly reflect the nature of most businesses.

    "There are banks that are so large that $1 million is a small business loan," he said. "In Oklahoma, that's a big loan."

    Valliance won't try to match those big banks service for service. Swickey said Valliance customers would be people who valued quality of service above number of services offered. It was a marketplace need his customers mentioned more than once and when it came time, some of them became investors in the fledgling financial institution. Norman entrepreneur Roy Oliver, restaurateur Hal W. Smith, businessman Stanton Nelson and attorney Joe Harroz Jr. are all shareholders and make up the new bank's board of directors.

    "The first step is identifying that there's a need in the marketplace for a new bank," Swickey said. "Once you've identified the need and how you're going to meet that need, then it's a matter of having a good story to tell investors. It was not that hard in this case because, serendipitously, we ran into a group of investors who were not bankers - they were businessmen who saw the need and we were able to marry the capital with the expertise."

    But capital and a name aren't enough to open the doors - there's still the Comptroller of the Currency to contend with, and bank charters aren't easily acquired.

    "It's very hard to do," said Swickey. "There are a lot of banks in Oklahoma. To convince the regulators that there's a need for another one, you've got to have a good plan."

    The business plan Durrett and Swickey worked out projects the Valliance path through 2019 and details the necessary infrastructure and products that will be necessary during the next 15 years. The bank will try to build a customer base in the northwest quadrant, an area Swickey said showed deposit growth even after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when most areas experienced a decline. By the bank's first anniversary, Durrett and Swickey hope to have written $35 million in loans.

    "We see this area as an area that has grown for many years and is continuing to grow and expand," Swickey said.

    Valliance will make its home in The Tower at 1601 Northwest Expressway, the building many remember - and still refer to - as the Penn Square Bank Building. Penn Square's demise was national news in 1982 when it became, by far, the largest FDIC insured bank failure in history. The building is now owned by Roy Oliver's Oliver Investments, the top Valliance shareholder.

    "This building anchors this end of the Northwest Expressway. It's a dominant edifice on the landscape," Swickey said. "There were a lot of successful banks that operated out of this building. It has been a successful banking location. A lot of people forget that Penn Square never occupied this building. The bank failed while it was in the very earliest stages of construction, but people still remember it as the Penn Square Bank Building. We're hopeful that in a very short period of time this building will no longer be thought of as the Penn Square Bank Building but as the Valliance Bank tower."

  2. Default Re: New bank coming to OKC

    I thought Express was the anchor for The Tower.
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  3. #3
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: New bank coming to OKC

    Hmmmm. I didn't think so. Express is headquartered further out on NW Expressway.....and their International Headquarters is out past Council on NW Expressway. You might be right though. I haven't been in The Tower in a long time.

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