Honors well earned, deserved

Published 2:32 am Saturday, May 30, 2009

A hearty congratulations are in order to Demopolis-based Robertson Banking Company for its recognition as one of the top 200 community banks regarding return on equity by USBanking Magazine over the last few years.

Not only did Robertson fall within the elite 200, at No. 42 they fell well within the top 25 percent.

There were only three banks from the state of Alabama on this list and only one was ranked higher than Robertson. Being counted among the best among your peers is quite an accomplishment in my book.

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I had the honor of spending part of Friday morning with RBC president and chief executive officer Al Garrett and some of the bank’s key leadership, senior vice president Gary Holemon and executive vice president Bobby Pritchett.

It became obvious early on in our conversation that the successes in our local bank are deeply rooted in its officers, its employees and its customers.

As one bank failure after another races across the bottom of your television screen, Robertson Banking Company actually increased its lending by 15 percent over last year.

That’s because the Demopolis financial institution avoided the fallout that has resulted in the sub-prime loan collapse and issuing unchecked lines of credit.

In essence, those stories you read about banks not lending money are simply not true. Some banks aren’t lending money as they are tied up trying to untangle themselves from a mess created by chasing big and fast money.

Robertson Bank has been in business in our county for nearly 140 years.

By sticking to the simple business practices that led to that longevity – customer service and wise investment and lending strategies – RBC weathered a storm that has crippled some of the giants of the banking industry.

Sticking to your principals – recognizing a tried and true method for growth and success, rallying your troops when necessary and supporting those who support you – is always effective.

The above sound like core elements to any successful business, and I appreciate Robertson Bank for setting such a strong and reliable example for our county. Congratulations to Robertson Banking Company, Al Garrett and all RBC officers, directors, customers and employees.

You have each played a large role in the bank’s success and will continue to play a role as the company continues to climb on a very prominent national list.