Normally, banks don’t welcome masked men (or women), but Derek Zelazny isn’t enforcing that prohibition so vigorously these days.
As North Texas market president, he’s seeing customers at Preston Road and Lovers Lane, site of the 14th office (second in the Dallas area) of American Bank of Commerce.
The full-service Park Cities branch opened Jan. 20 at 7001 Preston Road, Suite 100, and packed the lobby with guests during open house celebrations in late February and early March.
“As a community bank, we believe our core values and relationship-based banking philosophy meet the personal and business banking needs of this community,” bank president and CEO James Arnold said.
Lately, Zelazny and Marcie Waskey, branch manager for ABC Bank affiliate Infinity Mortgage Holdings, have seen maybe two visitors a day.
“In a time like this, people realize we might be a little more nimble and able to help.” -Derek Zelazny
Customers with business to do in person, even during a pandemic, come by appointment only for entry to the locked lobby.
Even without walk-in traffic, the new branch has gotten off to a busy start, tackling hundreds of applications from small businesses seeking loans under the federal Paycheck Protection Program.
The program incentivizes small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll by making the loans forgivable “if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks, and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities,” according to sba.gov.
Zelazny said the branch, through mid-April, had made 531 such loans, about $9.1 million worth.
“We’re helping our customers, but we also helped a handful of non-customers that just needed help,” he said. “In a time like this, people realize we might be a little more nimble and able to help.”
The $900 million community bank has more than 55 years of profitability and operates banking centers in Lubbock, Austin, Dallas, and Colorado. Infinity Mortgage, an affiliate, began offering mortgage lending services in 2016.
Even with the strange times, opening a new branch is exciting for the company, Zelazny said. “We believe in investing in communities where our associates live and are connected to personally and professionally.”
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