The Westchester Bank’s president and CEO, John M. Tolomer, recalls the bank’s earliest days, when the assets were low and headquarters were two double-wide trailers in Yonkers. This wasn’t decades ago; it was 2008, and the financial meltdown was about to happen.
Serving small- and mid-sized businesses with a personal touch enabled the fledgling bank to overcome the financial crisis, Tolomer says, and grow its assets in just eight years to about $675 million. He also credits the bank’s impressive growth to careful assessment of risk and word-of-mouth from satisfied customers. After the meltdown, Tolomer says, “Larger banks became more internally focused, and it left good, strong customers feeling they were disenfranchised, and they needed someone to talk to.”
While large banks may send a loan application to distant, impersonal, central underwriting “factories,” Tolomer says, The Westchester Bank’s customers can always reach someone to discuss their concerns. Tolomer’s staff will visit businesses, to understand their needs and assess their ability to conduct a successful partnership—and provide state-of-the-art-technology to make it work smoothly.
The bank’s double-wide days are long gone; headquarters now is a large space in downtown White Plains. Tolomer says the bank welcomes business owners who are “committed to their businesses and have a reputation for following through on their commitments.” Even with today’s challenges, he’s excited about the bank’s position and ability to continue helping Westchester businesses.