“Doing What is Right for Customers, Communities, and Employees”
FirstBank was founded in 1963 and has been growing as one of the largest privately held banks in the nation with over $27 billion in assets. They have over 100 locations throughout Colorado, Arizona and California. Very familiar to Coloradans, FirstBank has become recognized as a top workplace, one of the largest corporate philanthropists in Colorado and Arizona, and continues to rank high in customer satisfaction. Their growth has been based on the trust they have earned from their customers and during 2020, FirstBank achieved $20 billion in deposits for the first time in their company history.
Especially, FirstBank offers different products for different life stages, from no-frills checking and savings to time-deposit accounts and a 55-plus checking account. With a comprehensive benefits package, wellness program, and approach to employees’ learning and development, FirstBank aims to partner with each team member in achieving physical, spiritual, and financial wellness to help FirstBankers succeed at work and in life.
In order to introduce FirstBank to the Korean community and briefly outline major benefits of becoming their customer, Colorado Times interviewed the FirstBank Executive Vice President Tony Oum and the FirstBank Loan Representative as well as the Korean Service Representative Anna Jo.
Q #1. Could you please briefly introduce FirstBank to our readers and the Korean community?
[Tony] FirstBank was founded in 1963 here in Colorado. We are a local bank and employee owned since our founding until today. Currently, we are 25 billion dollar asset bank and we are traditional commercial bank where we have accounts, loans, and mortgages that we offer to our customers. We are a full service bank but we do not offer any sort of investment or insurance. The thing about FirstBank is that we have always done the right thing for the community, very involved with diverse communities – especially communities of minorities. Our engagement with the Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Latino communities has been growing immensely and we just want to make sure that everyone gets the bank service they need and deserve.
Q #2. What are the best qualities of the FirstBank that your future customers and employees can pay attention to?
[Tony] At the end of the day, we are all human beings and we just want to make sure that we build trust and a solid network with our employees and customers. It is very important for people to have a bank relationship especially if they want to buy their own homes or get into real estate business. We are very committed to different communities and that is why our title motto is “banking for good.” We always prioritize in making sure that everyone in the community has an opportunity to have and receive the right banking services. We offer very competitive rates and fees for mortgages and consumer loans, which include credits and construction loans as well. Moreover, we are very competitive in commercial lending which is why we have a lot of business owners that own commercial real estate as our customer base. FirstBank also involves in consumer lending to our customers where we always want to make sure it makes sense for them. We also offer construction loans, business loans and loan financing. Last but not least, we have an equipment financing of which we are offering 2.99 percent for 5 years especially if you own companies.
Q #3. How does your customer service work and can people with low credit score also apply?
[Tony] If you come to 1st bank, you will soon notice that we provide an exceptional customer service. Anna can also help you with the Korean language service as well as loan service. We try our best to get back to you as soon as possible compared to other national banks because we are local bank and every customer is important to us. We continue to move forward with minority communities and offer very competitive products designed for their needs. Of course, each customer is unique so each case is different. However, we have some flexibility towards individuals who have low credit scores depending on situation but most importantly, we provide resources to help them build up good credit score for the future.
Moreover, as we are a local bank in Colorado, all the decisions are made here locally which means when we have a customer that applies for loan service the decision is made locally and quickly. Many customers are very often surprised how quick we are when it comes to consumer or commercial loan service decision. Other banks can take a very long time but we can help our customers meet their deadline and get the best service they deserve. Regardless of a variety of situation, we are very honest with them even when it comes to denial because time is essential for everybody.
Q #4. Which branch should Korean customers visit if they would like to get Korean language service and additional information about your bank? Could you please also a brief note about why you would recommend FirstBank?
[Tony] For Korean customers, they can visit our Aurora branches which are located on Smoky Hill and Arapahoe (25541 East Smoky Hill Road, Aurora, CO 80016), Havana and Iliff (2300 S Havana St, Aurora, CO 80014), and on Hampden and Yosemite (8901 E Hampden Ave, Denver, CO 80231). If you would like to reach our branches through a phone call, you can call (720)870-4800 for our Smoky Hill and Arapahoe location, (303)337-2000 for our Havana and Iliff location, and last but not least, (303)337-5400 for our Hampden and Yosemite location.
I would like to emphasize that our most noticeable strength as an enterprise is in people. People would sometimes ask me why I stay working with the FirstBank and I always respond that the reason is in “people.” Working with exceptional individuals from diverse communities is very motivating and we sponsor a lot of local organizations and community events too especially when it comes to hard times. I can confidently say that the reason we can provide such a great customer service is because we have a great people and serve great people.