Combining strength, stability and personalized services

Conway's Bank of the Ozarks strives for innovation
Derrek Thomason, a 27-year banking professional, is Conway Division President for Bank of the Ozarks; he sees the bank's combination of strength, stability and personalized services as ideally suited to the needs of Faulkner County customers. submitted photo

 

As one of the country’s best places to live and work, Faulkner County deserves top-quality financial services, too. That is exactly what you get when you do business with Bank of the Ozarks, which for five consecutive years has been recognized as the nation’s best bank by leading financial publications.

You can enjoy the strength, security and services usually associated with big banks, delivered by local bankers you know and trust, and who understand your financial needs. Derrek Thomason, a 27-year banking professional, is Conway Division President for Bank of the Ozarks; he sees the bank’s combination of strength, stability and personalized services as ideally suited to the needs of Faulkner County customers.

“We are in a very vibrant market with three colleges, a young and well-educated workforce, a diversity of employers and significant business and residential growth,” he said. “At the same time, we are a strong and stable financial institution with an extremely talented staff. Five of our local lenders have over 25 years’ experience each, making all kinds of loans to small businesses, professionals, builders and developers. We measure our success by helping customers grow their businesses to become more successful.“

“Our strength also means we can serve retail customers who need 24/7 access to their accounts and who want consumer loans and home mortgages at competitive prices,” Thomason said.

Sarah Shaw, Executive Vice President at the bank’s Conway Salem location, is a Conway native who became a banker in 1985 and joined Bank of the Ozarks in 2002. At that time, the bank and the city were significantly smaller. She said the leaders of Faulkner County and Bank of the Ozarks are doing an excellent job of managing their respective growth.

“Thirteen years ago, we were still a small town bank with big bank products,” Shaw recalled. Today Bank of the Ozarks has 174 offices across nine states and total assets of $8.71 billion as of June 30.

That growth notwithstanding, Shaw said, “When you come to Bank of the Ozarks, you still bank with an individual who takes the time to understand your unique business needs so we can offer the products that are best for you. And we make it easy to bank, because many approvals and lending decisions are still made locally.” Faulkner County is an exciting place to be a banker because it is so high-energy, Thomason and Shaw said. That dynamism is driven by a fast-growing retail sector, a strong technology-based economy and the quality of colleges and secondary schools. Both bankers said the community is notable because younger generations are able to get an education and find good careers locally, and because the area welcomes new residents who come for college or career opportunities.

As Conway has grown, Bank of the Ozarks has expanded its services and physical footprint in the community. The bank has four offices, dubbed Conway North, Conway East, Conway Main and Conway Salem. Thanks to the bank’s investment in superior technology, customers enjoy innovative new products, including secure online and mobile banking.

Business customers can enjoy these online banking services:

•Pay bills electronically – free, some restrictions apply

•Payroll

•Collections

•Tax payments

•ACH payments and receipts

•Wire transfers

•Check balances and activity on accounts

•Transfer funds between accounts

•View banking history

•View check images

•Statement history available (system accumulates statement history following enrollment)

•Download account information into QuickBooks® and/or Quicken®

•Change your address

•Issue stop payments

Personal accountholders can download the mobile banking app to their smartphone or tablet to access account information, deposit checks, transfer funds immediately between their Bank of the Ozarks accounts and pay bills anywhere and anytime.

Earlier this year the bank launched Popmoney, a feature that allows users to pay anyone, anytime, using their mobile device. For example, parents can use Popmoney to deposit money into a college student’s account. The student can use Popmoney to pay his or her share of rent and utilities by instantly depositing funds into a housemate’s account. When George Gleason became Chairman and CEO of Bank of the Ozarks in 1979, it was a small institution with two dozen employees and offices in two cities.

He was a 25-year-old attorney with no banking experience but he had a strategy for success. From the first day, Gleason emphasized to employees that integrity and service would always come first.

That focus on customers has allowed the bank to grow to 173 offices in nine states, including the four locations in Faulkner County, and to be recognized as the best bank in the nation.

Bank of the Ozarks’ employee mantra is to “be accessible to our customers always,” and that commitment is visible every day at its Faulkner County offices. Conway and the surrounding area are a highly competitive market with numerous banks offering similar products. In a market where customers have multiple choices, they look for a bank with outstanding strength, professionalism and consistent service.

Both Thomason and Shaw said Bank of the Ozarks thrives in Faulkner County by offering a unique combination of financial strength, technology that increases customer convenience and control over their accounts and personalized professional attention to every customer’s needs. “Our customers can be assured we are a very strong financial institution with a highly skilled team of bankers,” Thomason said. “This strength means Bank of the Ozarks is competitive on pricing, offers innovative products and takes care of every customer’s unique needs with a high level of personal service.”

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