Soon after the merger of The Stockmen's Bank and National Bank of Arizona was announced, customers began approaching Patrick Willis. Willis was then employed by Stockmen's Bank as the manager of its Payson branch.
Willis was asked by customers and friends to find a bank to fill the void in local financial services when The Stockmen's Bank/National Bank of Arizona merger was announced, he said.
"(Stockmen's) was the only community bank in Payson and customers and friends wanted me to do something about it," he said.
So he reached out to Towne Bank in Mesa and the company agreed to come into the Rim Country.
Towne Bank is now in business, providing a variety of loan products. In June, it will have a full-service facility at the corner of East Highway 260 and Manzanita Drive.
Operating Towne Bank are Patrick Willis, president, and Amy D. Hill, assistant vice president. When the full-service office opens, there will be an additional four employees to assist customers.
"Towne Bank is a community bank, with its headquarters in Mesa," Willis said. "It was started in Arizona three years ago and specializes in a high level of service to individuals and businesses."
Towne Bank has one main, full-service office in Mesa, plus a couple of offices similar to the current operation in Payson, specializing in loan production.
"We do commercial lending, construction loans and personal loans," Hill said. "We do creative lending. If you don't fit into the box big city banks require for loans, then they won't do business with you. We can go outside that box."
Building banks is Willis' specialty. He started Founders Bank, which was purchased by Compass, and helped bring Stockmen's into Payson.
"People want to do business with small banks and have local service," he said. "They want to do face-to-face business with the people making the decisions."
Hill said, that face-to-face business is known as "relationship banking," with the staff building personal bonds with their customers.
"We will have no fees," she said. "The only time customers will be charged is if they overdraw their account or want to make an international wire transfer."
Towne Bank may be new, but between them, Willis and Hill have nearly 35 years of experience in financial services.
For more information, call Towne Bank at (928) 468-5151, the office is located at 708 E. Highway 260 in Payson.