A Bank Where a Handshake is Still Worth Something
Just a year ago, one of Canada’s smallest banks transitioned to provide full-service banking in Prince George. Canadian Western Bank (CWB) may be smaller than the “big five” banks, but that’s what sets them apart – their unique brand of personalized service and focus on making a difference in the community.
Derek Dougherty, Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager notes Canadian Western Bank’s size is an advantage because it’s nimble and can be more responsive to client needs.
“We offer the same products and services other banks do, but the way we do it is different, and we think, better,” he says. “We believe a handshake is still worth something. We can do approvals right at our branch. That’s how committed we are to our clients.”
This means for many lending deals, there’s no phone call to a head office somewhere or communications that might take days. Instead, as Derek explains it, if he likes a deal and it makes sense, he can approve it.
“We offer the same products and services other banks do, but the way we do it is different, and we think, better.” Derek Dougherty
“So many people have come to us panicked two days before the closing date of a real estate deal,” Derek explains. “They thought they had a deal, but the financing becomes a problem with the bank they had been working with. It leaves them high and dry.”
Derek and his team can look at that deal and make it happen within 24 hours if it’s a fit for CWB.
“That’s the biggest commitment to service that we can make and we have purposely chosen not to take away,” he says. “We listen to our clients. I don’t think enough people do that. We find out what our client wants and needs to make their personal and business goals a reality.”
With the move full-service, Derek specifically chose the employees that were a fit to the way CWB does business. These are people-oriented individuals with boundless energy. They are prepared to make the relationship with their clients positive whether it’s a day-to-day transaction, setting up an RESP for kids or grandkids, arranging a group RRSP, discussing mutual funds or talking to the business account managers down the hall.
“We’re a close team and this is a high-energy place to be,” notes Derek. “I work here and I have an amazing experience coming in each day. I want our clients to have the same experience, only better.”
That pride and commitment to service ripples from the branch staff into the community with their culture to give to others. Derek personally gives his time and energy to the Prince George Chamber, the Downtown Business Improvement Association and a children’s charity that he’s witnessed grow in leaps and bounds.
“A lot of staff take up an interest as part of that culture to give,” he says. “If we’re not good to our community, how can we expect it to be good to us?”
For a different kind of banking experience, where people are treated like part of the community, visit Canadian Western Bank.