Dream team of banking serving SuffolkFirst

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Suffolk News Herald

There’s a new bank popping up almost weekly as of late, however, there’s one with a great difference in Suffolk. It’s got all the &uot;big city,&uot; high tech attributes of a large metropolitan bank, but SuffolkFirst Bank is hometown friendly with some of your nicest neighbors providing services to the community.

Darrell G. Swanigan, President and CEO of SuffolkFirst Bank, announced Tuesday that the bank opened for business Jan. 27. It is located at 100 Bosley Ave., at the corner of Bosley Ave. and W. Washington St.

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SuffolkFirst is a new state chartered, Federal Reserve Member, and FDIC insured bank, said Swanigan. More than 1,400 SuffolkFirst Bank shareholders invested $10,320,880, indicating an overwhelming desire for a local hometown bank.

The bank has employed an experienced team of officers and staff who are well known and have a broad knowledge of business and consumer financial needs in the bank’s service area, Swanigan added.

Included in the management team are James R.A. Stanley Jr., Senior Vice President and Senior Loan Officer; J. Frank Taylor, Vice President and consumer Loan Officer; and Benjamin I. Wainwright Jr., chief Operations Officer.

&uot;Collectively, the management team of SuffolkFirst has more than 120 years of banking experience,&uot; said Swanigan. &uot;The SuffolkFirst team is confident that the bank’s customers will enjoy the responsive, friendly service that the team is qualified to deliver.&uot;

Swanigan added that the bank is commemorating its grand opening by offering, for a limited time, a 66-month CD at an Annual Percentage Yield of 4.06. The bank is also offering no closing cost home equity lines of credit at the extraordinary rate of 3.89 APR, and perhaps most extraordinary of all, a no service charge checking account with a lifetime guarantee.

&uot;We think we’re going to have some very competitive rates out there for our customers,&uot; said Swanigan. &uot;Also, most importantly, we have the cream of the crop when it comes to the staff at SuffolkFirst. I’ve been involved in community banking for most of my 40 years in banking. Collectively, all of our officers have over 120-years in banking and we are here to serve our customers and shareholders. We have put together the dream team of banking that is like family and we see our customers as extended family.&uot;

SuffolkFirst Bank was organized in Dec. 2001, when several board members decided the people of Suffolk needed a bank that provided friendly, hometown service through a community bank. Swanigan joined the team in July 2002, assisting with the final stages of applying for regulatory approval and other matters.

&uot;Our service is community oriented and hometown flavored,&uot; said Swanigan who has more than 40-years of banking background. &uot;We feel strongly that the type of service we are going to be able to provide to our customers and shareholders will be beneficial to everyone.&uot;

Swanigan added that one of the benefits of banking with SuffolkFirst Bank is the expanded hours of operation.

SuffolkFirst Bank’s lobby hours go a littler further than other banks provide. The beautifully decorated lobby opens at 8:30 a.m. and offers services up to 5 p.m. weekdays. They are open from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon Saturdays, and in addition to a 24-hour ATM, the bank offers extended drive-up hours from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Weekdays and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

Swanigan said the bank’s slogan, &uot;Customers First at SuffolkFirst,&uot; originated in its early development stages by the organizing board. The mission of the bank is to always be respectful and courteous and offer superior financial services to customers, regardless of transaction size.

The public is invited to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 2 p.m.