Springfield First Community Bank opened in October 2008, backed by local investors and staffed with seasoned banking professionals.
The bank was born of a desire for a community bank, with 71 local businesspeople raising more than $22 million in startup investment capital.
Initially operating out of two modular units, SFC moved a year after opening to a 16,000-square-foot permanent branch at 2006 S. Glenstone Ave.
Nearly three years after opening, SFC President Brian Straughan says keeping decision making and money local is still the driving force behind the bank.
“Community banking will always have a place, but especially in Springfield,” Straughan says. “What you don’t want to see is local deposits being taken in by banks that are not local and being lent outside of this market, only to enrich out-of-market shareholders. In the community bank model, you accept local deposits, and you turn around and generate local loans to support the local economy.”
According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., SFC had assets of $215.6 million as of March 31. As a full-service bank, SFC also offers an array of personal banking products, including checking and savings accounts and online banking, as well as cash management services and business accounts for commercial customers.
In less than three years, SFC has granted more than $166 million in loans to local businesses and individuals. Straughan says that although the bank offers a full gamut of loan products, commercial lending is key.
“At the end of the day, when you look at our balance sheet and the experience of our lenders, the real strength and types of loans we make are commercial loans, as well as commercial real estate loans,” he says.
The addition of mortgage lender Bart Evans a little more than a year ago is growing the bank’s residential lending, Straughan says. Evans is among the bank’s 32 employees, up from 22 in 2008. Most of the original 22 came from The Signature Bank. In June, Springfield First Community Bank hired banking veteran Robert Fulp as chairman and CEO. SFC employees are involved with many local organizations as board members, volunteers, and fundraising leaders, Straughan says.
“We have done what we can to support our local community from the day we opened our doors,” he says, noting that 50 local organizations have benefited from SFC’s gifts of time and money. “As a new business, initially you have startup expenses and no revenue, but we still established a charitable giving budget and have carried that through from the beginning.”
SFC employees have recently chipped in for charitable gifts to many causes, including collecting items for local nursing homes and U.S. troops, and helping those affected by the May 22 tornado in Joplin.
Along with Noel Boyd, Charlie O’Reilly, W. Brent Davis, Larry Lipscomb, H.E. Whitener, Kirk Bossert and Jan Baumgartner, Straughan serves on the bank’s board of directors, according to www.sfcbank.com
Keeping dollars local – whether through banking or support – is important to SFC shareholders and employees, Straughan says.
“I think that’s the cornerstone of the community bank model, and we’re firm believers in that. We’re a local small-business owner ourselves, so we see the value in it,” he adds.From the 2011 Economic Impact Awards publication