By Joey Gomez
Texas Regional Bank’s community-driven approach to Valley customers
The Rio Grande Valley has an interesting history full of innovative people who helped shape this area. Most Valley cities just crossed the 100 year old mark, and they have be- come hubs of retail, transportation, medicine and other industries. The region has come a long way. One part of the economic growth of the Valley has been its deep tradition of local businesses working with their community banks to help grow the economy and improve the lives of the people of the Valley.
At one time, there were about 55 community banks across the Valley, and to- day there are about 15. These were the banks that loaned to the local business with start up or expansion loans; each loan improving a business but collectively growing the Valley. Some of the bankers of that time saw an opportunity after the consolidations of these community banks and founded Texas Regional Bank.
Texas Regional Bank looks to usher in a new era of community banking that combines good old fashion relationship banking with the modern technologies that customers want. This means understanding the community, as well as knowing what its needs are. It means prioritizing family, according to Texas Regional Bank Chief Executive Officer Paul Moxley.
“You have to be a part of the community, you have to understand the community, you have to know the needs of the community,” Moxley said. “That’s where it’s an advantage to a bank like us. We are from this area, and our people are from this area. We make our loan decisions in this area, and we know the people.”
Texas Regional Bank specializes in offering support for “mom and pop” stores, various small businesses and individuals look- ing to reach that next step in life. The bank is also responding to customer demands by embracing the advent of online and mobile banking, which is unique for a community- based bank, Moxley said.
“We have to stay up with technology, and we are pushing hard to do that,” he said. “We have a team who is researching and developing our TRB WebBank which includes online banking, mobile banking and other banking solutions. It’s something we are investing in.”
Starting in 2008 with the purchase of Falfurrias State Bank with assets of $18 million, Texas Regional Bank has now expanded its assets in excess of $100 million. It now has banking centers in Harlingen, McAllen, and broke ground on its Brownsville location that will open later this year. “The leadership at Texas Regional Bank, as well as our staff, collectively encompass hundreds of years of experience banking the Valley,” Moxley said.
Looking ahead to the next five years, Moxley said the bank will continue to remain focused on its banking centers in the Valley, and intends to expand to the Mid- Valley area, then Mission, Sharyland and Edinburg. Texas Regional Bank will also be looking at bank acquisitions as it develops.
This young bank, just like the Valley, is making waves across the nation. Texas Regional Bank was recently named as one of the safest banks by MSN Money and was the only bank in the Valley to make that list. Taking into account the number of criticized loans the bank has, compared to the capital the bank has to cover those
loans, the bank scored a perfect “zero” rating. It ranked among the top 359 safest banks in America out of more than 7,300.
“I have been at it since 1970, and I have employees who have been with me more than 20 years. You probably won’t find many banks that collectively have as many years of banking experience that we do,” Moxley said. “All of our directors are local. Our senior management is local, and all of our employees are from the Valley, and have been involved with some of the largest banks in the Valley.”
“Banking to me has always been giving back,” Moxley added. “I have enjoyed helping people, giving them loans and watching them grow. I have enjoyed helping them finance their future, and through my banking career, I have really enjoyed people coming back to me and saying ‘you offered me a loan back in 1970, the old Valley Federal,’ People remember those things and how you have helped them get something done. It’s not just about lending money, it’s about giving back and helping others.”