First Commerce Bank reported Monday that as of Dec. 31 its assets now top $190 million. A bank's assets include cash on hand, bonds, loans and any physical structures it may own.
"Pretty good for a small town," said an obviously excited Chairman and President/CEO Bill Marsh.
First Commerce began operations in December 2002 with just $12.5 million in assets. Marsh credits a philosophy of "local decisions and local ownership" for the bank's rapid growth.
"Our board of directors consists entirely of local people, every one of them," Marsh said. "And they all either run a business or own their own."
Marsh credits that sense of small-town business savvy with helping First Commerce avoid some of the pitfalls other, larger banks have fallen into in recent months with the ongoing subprime loan debacle.
See Friday's Tribune for the complete story.