The “Sweet Spot” of Banking 

by | Feb 3, 2023 | The Dossier | 0 comments

Amarillo National Bank 

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Most locals probably think all banks are the same. From a multinational Wall Street bank to a regional credit union, financial institutions offer similar products—commercial loans, personal checking accounts, debit cards, and more.  

But Bexar County residents who turn to ANB are learning that a bank’s personality matters more than its interest rates or account options. Not every financial institution has the same flexibility or focus. And no other local bank has the history of ANB. 

“We’re part of a Texas banking legacy that’s 130 years old,” says Travis Edlund, San Antonio Market Executive. His bank is part of the growing Amarillo National Bank family. Founded in the Texas Panhandle by cattleman B.T. Ware in 1892 – the Amarillo-based bank is still 100% owned by the Ware family, now in its fifth generation. “It’s the largest family-owned bank in the United States. It started in Texas and it’s still owned and operated by Texans,” says Edlund 

ANB has recently expanded that banking legacy into San Antonio, College Station, Austin & Fort Worth. Its community focus and stability set ANB apart from competing banks, many of which are publicly traded. Being family-owned allows commercial bankers like Edlund to act quickly to meet business customers’ financing needs. He says that kind of nimble, customer-centered attitude is embedded throughout ANB’s culture. It also allows ANB to give back to local communities in big ways. Last year ANB gave over $5 million to ANB’s local communities across Texas.  

“From the top down, you’re always going to hear ‘customers come first,'” he says. “You’ll hear it from the Ware family, and you’ll hear it from all loan officers. You hear it from tellers at every branch, from Amarillo to Fort Worth to San Antonio. We are customer-driven and customer-focused.”  

ANB’s local touch is clear the moment business customers reach out to the bank. “If you call us, you’ll talk to a person,” says Edlund. Instead of navigating through an automated call center in New York or Pennsylvania, ANB customers always speak to a human. But not just any human. “That phone call will be answered in Texas,” promises Edlund. “You’ll talk to a Texan.” 

He points out that most ANB customers also appreciate the bank’s size, especially for commercial projects. Smaller community banks or credit unions might be less flexible with financing opportunities. Enormous Wall Street banks end up fenced in by red tape, making them slow to respond to the community. But ANB exists in the “sweet spot” of banking. It’s big enough to meet customer needs—but not so big that size gets in the way of service.  

That may be why ANB regularly wins community accolades. It has been named Amarillo’s Best Bank for 20 years in a row and Best Mortgage Company for 17 years. It’s also regularly recognized with other local market awards, including Best Financial Planner, Best Customer Service, Best Customer Culture, and Best Bank in Texas by American Banker Magazine in 2013.  

“Being family-owned gives us the lending authority to get things done quickly. For instance, we can make fast, local decisions on loans,” Edlund says. “It’s difficult for really big banks to be agile when they’re answering to Wall Street.”  

Best of all, ANB doesn’t answer to outside shareholders. Family ownership helps it prioritize community involvement and investment, which makes ANB a great place to work. “I love what I do,” Edlund says. “We love our community and customers. We take money seriously, but we try to do it with a light heart. We try to have fun. This isn’t just a job. We are here to make our communities better and stronger.”  

To learn more about ANB, visit anb.com. 

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