CWB now full service

By Geoff Lee

October 11, 2016 12:00 AM

FULL STEAM AHEAD Alan Wells, left, manager of the new Lloydminster Canadian Western Bank branch, officiates at the grand opening of the branch Thursday as a full service bank along with Chris Fowler, president and CEO of the Edmonton-based bank on the right.

The Lloydminster branch of the Canadian Western Bank is now operating as a full service bank following a grand opening at their new location at 2209 – 50 Ave.
The celebration on Thursday featured a pep talk and a ribbon cutting by Chris Fowler, corporate president and CEO and Alan Wells, assistant vice-president and branch manager before a crowd of employees and well wishers.
“We are now a full service branch—we’re offering everything form investments, accounts, loans and mutual fund sales,” said Wells.
Previously, CWB’s presence in Lloydminster was limited to equipment financing offerings following their corporate model for growth in Western Canada.
“What we like to do when we come into a new market, like into Lloydminster, is to enter the market on the lending side,” said Fowler.
“So equipment finance was the way we’ve entered this and five other markets in Western Canada.”
With a growing base of clients in the community, the timing was right this year for CWB to relocate and expand to full service banking.
The new branch provides commercial lending, real estate lending, personal lending wealth management and trust services.
The company took over the building previously owned by Synergy Credit Union in January, and renovated it for a soft opening on June 20.
“We’ve been opening lots of accounts every week—we’ve got more and more foot traffic coming through the door,” said Wells.
“Right now, we just want to make everyone aware that we are now 100 per cent prepared.”
The relocation and expansion tripled the square footage of the CWB branch and tripled the number for employees to nine.
“The team that’s been assembled here is top notch,” said Wells
Ironically, Wells was a former executive at Synergy Credit Union who joined CWB’s initial equipment finance group in Dec., 2014.
“I was able to become part of the great culture here at CWB then when the decision was made to expand the operation into a full service, I was the fortunate candidate that they selected to lead a great team,” said Wells.
Staff moved into the new CWB branch on June 13.
“Everybody is comfortable in their position since we believe we can offer good quality service,” said Wells.
The expansion in Lloydminster is in keeping with CWB’s profile as an opportunity bank that finds growth opportunities even in the current economic slowdown.
“We are an Alberta head office bank so we have a lot of confidence in Western Canada—we believe this is a market that we’re here to support,”  said Fowler from the Edmonton head office.
He noted when the economy has challenges in it CWB has actually increased their business.
Opportunities arise, said Fowler, when other banks that are not based in Western Canada pull back as some have during the decline of oil and gas prices.
“There are many accounts and clients and businesses have seen many different downturns in other markets,” said Fowler.
“This is just another economic cycle and there’s always winners and that’s another opportunity.”

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