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100 Years and Counting… Customer Service is a Tradition at Astra Bank

Kyle Campbell - Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Astra Bank has been serving the community since 1911. More than a hundred years later, if there’s one thing that remains the same as it was back then is our commitment to customer service excellence. One of the questions we asked Richard Campbell, our Chairman in a recent chat was about what has helped the bank to be successful through the changing times and economic conditions. Richard’s answer was simple: “Good old-fashioned values.”

And what he means by that is even today, more than 100 years after the bank first started its operation, being true to serving customer needs has been and will always be the number one priority for every employee here. Richard himself joined the bank 41 years ago in September 1971. His father-in-law, G. Walter Boyles, had been with the bank for many years before that, having joined in February of 1929. Richard spoke about the tough times that the world faced with the economic crash, (in)famously known as the Great Depression of 1929. What kept Astra Bank afloat despite the challenges of that financial crisis was a balanced approach set on the foundation of strong ethical and business principles. The early insights he gleaned from his father-in-law (and mentor) played an instrumental role in shaping Richard’s perspective on following a conservative approach to lending. “We always made sure that people had the capacity to repay and provide collateral to pledge on their loan.”

Today, in an environment of increased and highly stringent banking regulation and disclosure norms, banks have no choice but to do their due diligence on every loan transaction. But even back in the day when we used to take care of all the record-keeping and documentation manually, our staff was trained to follow processes that made us efficient, customer-friendly and profitable.

The first lesson in customer service that Richard says he learned was that banking is not just about lending and borrowing money. It is about understanding customer needs—advising them on crucial financial decisions that would impact their life, their families and their business. With all the advances in technology, we have not lost sight of the fact that Astra Bank is successful because we help our customers to be successful. If we can show you a better way to save, invest, borrow or lend your money, we believe we can make a difference to your life—a positive one; and that is our ongoing commitment to each and every customer of Astra Bank.

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