In a bid to attract clients from one of the fastest-growing markets in the state, the Orange County Trust Company has recently expanded into Westchester with a new White Plains full-service office and retail banking location, dubbed Orange Bank and Trust Company (OBTC).
The expansion, which also includes a new office in Rockland County, marks the next chapter for this rapidly expanding self-styled community bank. The 123-year-old company hopes to bring its close involvement with community finance and emphasis on personal interaction to bear on Westchester’s expanding banking market. The new division will offer both consumer and business banking products such as checking accounts, money markets, and the ability to remotely view deposits, among other standard offerings.
Joseph Ruhl, OBTC’s regional president for Westchester County, saw the jump from Middletown to White Plains—which was put into motion before Ruhl began work at the company—as a logical step. “The bank made a defined decision that it wanted to move and expand its marketplace, so when they looked across the spectrum of where the opportunities presented themselves it really looked like Westchester and Rockland were great places for them to go.”
Ruhl suggests it is the local feeling of the bank’s operations that will make OBTC amenable to Westchester customers. “I think the marketplace is really clamoring for the continuation of community banking in the traditional sense,” he says. “The reality is that, with the consolidations and the mergers of many banks, there are very few real community banks that are truly hands on.”
Joseph A. Ruhl speaking at the White Plains Branch Opening and Ribbon Cutting
Ruhl also revealed that OBTC will soon rollout a new electronic banking system, offering all the standard products that clients and investors have come to expect from some of the nation’s leading banks. “Our new electronic banking platform will be state of the art. So, all of those services that the larger institutions offer, we are building right now and will have rolled out very shortly,” remarks Ruhl.
Even when discussing these technological advancements, however, it is the approachable nature of the bank’s operations that Ruhl feels remains OBTC’s true strong suit. “The key to banking through OBTC is the relationships,” says Ruhl. “This is a bank that has a history of 123 years of being a community bank with local bankers giving back to all the neighborhoods in which we do business.”
Ruhl sees nothing but bright skies ahead for the bank’s role in Westchester County after its September 24 ribbon cutting in White Plains. “We have been well received into the marketplace, and our grand opening was a huge success,” he says. “I would guess that as we continue to grow at the White Plains location, we will look across Westchester County to see where it makes sense for us to build our next location and do that sooner rather than later.”