speaks at First Oklahoma Bank's
Consumer advocate and syndicated talk show host Clark Howard spoke
with shareholders, staff and KRMG guests at First Oklahoma Bank's MidTown branch. Mr. Howard gave a brief presentation of his view of the economy and then ielded questions from the audience.
(Above) Mr. Howard discussed the role of community banks with
Tom Bennett, Jr., Chairman and Co-CEO of First Oklahoma Bank,
Sue Bennett, Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing
First Oklahoma Bank's
opening of its new facility in MidTown has
generated a lot of excitement in Tulsa's
Below are excerpts from various news publications
TULSA WORLD / Business / August 20, 2010
Without a lot of fanfare, First Oklahoma Bank began operations this week
out of its newly built site at 41st Street and Rockford Avenue. Bank executives say theyare excited about the new midtown location with its proximity to many of Tulsa's finest restaurants and specialty shops.
As of Aug. 17, First Oklahoma Bank had grown to $72 million in assets, already passing its growth plans through March 2011. This has included growth of $41 million in loans and $52 million in deposits.
"The folks behind the bank all have really worked hard to get out in the
community. We're actively trying to lend money and trying to grow an
most banks now are really not doing that. They're spending more of their time focusing on problems." said Tom Bennett III, president and co-CEO
of the bank."
His father, Tom Bennett Jr., who is chairman and co-CEO, noted that in the last year some banks with Tulsa headquarters have shrunk rather than
grown. "That actually creates an opportunity for us because depositors are looking for competitive interest rates and customer service, and borrowers are looking for banks that are willing to sit down and understand their
deal," Bennett Jr. said.
First Oklahoma Bank is owned by 175 Oklahoma families who invested $17 million in the bank's parent company. The bank has 37 employees with
three full service banking facilities.
TULSA PEOPLE / Bizz Buzz / September, 2010
Location and convenience are what drew First Oklahoma Bank to construct itsnew branch in Brookside, Chairman Tom Bennett Jr. says. "The midtown marketis a wonderful part of the Tulsa community, and we wanted to be in
a place that's convenient and on the way to places people might be going", Bennett says.
The new 10,400-square-foot branch opened Aug. 23 at East 41st Street and South Rockford Avenue. Along with offering great rates on personal checking accounts, money market accounts and CDs, Bennett says First Oklahoma Bank adds personal touches, such as ensuring its customers
speak with a live banking representative for account information as well as providing a grace program for overdrafts. Those are just some of the
reasons he says his institution stands out in the banking field.
TULSA BUSINESS JOURNAL / August, 2010
First Oklahoma Bank completed its facility at 41st Street and Rockford Avenue in October. The new bank which opened Nov. 4, has already outgrown the 10,400-SF building, said Tom Bennett Jr., bank chairman.
"We are happy to have grown faster than we had anticipated," he said.
"When we put together our plan to talk to investors, we thought se would
get to $70 million (in assets) by March 31,2011, we never imagined we would be able to do that by August 2010. It has been a very fast growth."
Since First Oklahoma Holdings Inc. acquired Glencoe State Bank and
changed its name to First Oklahoma Bank last year, the bank's assets have increased from $9.7 million at Oct. 30, 2009 to the current $70 million.
With focus on small business and professional people, Tom Bennett Jr.
said the bank is built on the philosophy of "treating others as we want to
be treated." "How do we want to be treated on our interest rates on our
CDs and personal checking accounts? How do we want to be treated on overdrafts or ATM charges? We came up with a strategy that we think treated people like we want to treat everyone in our family," he said. "Similarly, inside the company, we like to treat our
colleagues as we would like to be treated."
Tom Bennet III said the recession and resulting tight credit have created
opportunities for the bank. "There are a lot of people out there who are
being successful in this economy; who have opportunities out in front of them," he said."If it appears that there is a storm on the horizon, or if you
are in one, you naturally get more conservative. Your creativity shrinks
down because you are worried about what may happen. That doesn't mean people stop investing and stop hiring folks. It can mean that access to credit gets shut off. I have been surprised that there are as many good deals out there that haven't found banking homes, for us that is great. It's a fantastic opportunity.