By DENNIS GRUBAUGH
The service and style of a good community bank are what drew David Hopkins to the job at Town and Country Bank, and he believes those characteristics are vital for getting and keeping customers, too.
“In a community bank environment, you have a role in the decision making, and we can turn around the decision quickly. That’s really what we pride ourselves on — taking information and getting back to customers as quickly as possible,” he says. “That’s something we drill on.”
Hopkins, 59, is community bank president for the Metro East Region, where Town and Country has two locations, one at 303 Fountains Parkway No. 100 in Fairview Heights, where Hopkins is based, and one at 10 Terra Verde in Edwardsville, where Paul Abert is the community bank president.
Hopkins came aboard in the summer of 2017, one year after Town and Country entered the Southwestern Illinois market. Town and Country is based in Springfield and all of its assets are in Illinois.
Previously, Hopkins was with First Bank for 26 years. He started his banking career in 1982, working for what was then Bank of St. Louis, while in college.
A lifelong resident of St. Clair County, he was originally from East St. Louis and has for many years lived in O’Fallon with his wife Beth. They have three grown children, Gus, who lives in Centralia; Johanna, who lives in Kansas City; and Sam, of O’Fallon.
Town and Country is a 62-year-old institution that just eclipsed $800 million in assets.
“That puts us slightly larger than average for community banks,” Hopkins said, adding that the bank “has a big appetite for growth. The company moved to Metro East specifically for growth.”
There are no immediate plans to establish other branches in Metro East.
“Our immediate concern is growing what we have. What we are really focused on here is in the Metro East, is commercial lending and our mortgage side,” he said.
The most important thing, he said, is getting the right people and have them know the area and its people.
“I think we’ve done a good job of putting together a team of people that know the area well,” he said.
The banking environment has changed in lot in Hopkins’ time in banking.
“Incrementally, some of the larger banks have really moved away from community bank style,” he said. “Trying to do it with processes and technology rather than people, and I think those are both extremely important. It still comes down to treating people the way they want to be treated, paying attention to them, and trying to anticipate needs rather than addressing them when they happen to come up.”
Hopkins holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in economics and finance and a master’s in business administration from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
By DENNIS GRUBAUGH