Banking is all about relationships, so when he was asked what made his bank so popular with “Best of the Big O” voters, American National Bank CEO and President Adrian Breen quickly answered:
“It’s our people. Across the board, whether it’s on the retail side or the commercial side of the bank, and our operational support people, too, we just have great people,” Breen said.
“We obviously have competitive products and services, but I think that banking really is a big people business, and we’ve been able to attract and retain some very talented bankers.”
Whatever they’re doing at American National Bank, it’s working. The Nebraska-rooted bank was voted Best Bank by “Best of the Big O” voters in a very competitive field.
This “it’s the people” mantra continues into the way American National Bank approaches its customers, too. On the bank’s website, under the “About” section, it reads:
“‘About Us’ is really about you — the customer. Everything we do revolves around making the customer experience better; whether it’s saving you time with convenient access to your money or providing competitive loan rates to help you buy your first home. We’re not just bankers. We’re friends and neighbors. We care about the communities we call home. And we’ll always work hard to provide a high level of customer care and service that is second to none. It’s the way we do business. It’s the American Way.”
With 500 employees spread across Nebraska and eastern Iowa and well as at American National Bank’s sister bank in Minneapolis, Western Bank: A Division of American National Bank, the bank is heavily involved in the local communities in which they have branches. American National Bank has invested considerable energy and financial resources in pursuit of building stronger relationships within the communities they serve, and it goes far beyond dollars and cents, Breen said.
“About a year ago, we rolled out a VTO, a Voluntary Time Off, where each employee gets two full days of pay to take off during the year, no matter where you are in the organization, to be involved in some sort of non-profit or charitable work in the community,” Breen said. “It’s time and talent, dollars and our shareholders that do quite a bit in the community, and it’s a big piece of who we are.”
American National Bank, which traces its banking heritage back to 1856, has experienced multiple generations of banking during ups and downs of the U.S. economy. Through it all, the bank has remained steadfast and strong.
“We are financially very stable and have been very well capitalized over the years, which provides a great deal of security for our customers,” Breen said. “It starts there and then having some good core fundamentals and then sticking to those. We also have some great leadership with our shareholders. It’s been financial responsibility, it’s community oriented and it’s people driven, and that’s a recipe for success.”
American National Bank is a full service bank with expertise in commercial real estate, tax credit financing, healthcare and the transportation industry, but it has been especially successful in commercial banking and lending, which has been a significant piece of the company’s growth over the years.
“It has been our ability to attract those great commercial bankers that in turn attract great customers,” Breen said. “Most of our commercial customers are small- to medium-sized privately held business owners, and we’ve played a variety of roles with them over the years, from start up to growth and expansion.”
Breen says that in the end – while American National Bank has an impressive variety of convenient services and products – it comes down to the bank’s core values, which focus on honesty and integrity and people who are committed to building lasting relationships and doing whatever it takes to provide the best banking experience possible.