Bob Hahn, president of First National Bank, says personal contact -- and access to decision makers -- is the main reason a business should choose a community bank over a larger bank. The second is adaptability, of both loans and deposit schedules.
First National Bank of North County is almost entirely a commercial bank. Its main clientele are family-owned businesses with revenues of less than $50 million a year.
The small amount of residential real estate lending it does -- typically between $1 million and $3 million a year -- is to accommodate existing business customers. Because of this, the company has very little exposure to potential fluctuations in the residential real estate market.
In 1995 during the wave of bank takeovers and consolidations that hit San Diego County, First National Bank of North County was bought by Minneapolis-based Duke Financial Group Inc. Hahn stresses that Duke is a family-owned business whose ethos melds well with that of First National Bank of North County.