We’re nearing the end of our first full year under new leadership, a pivotal transition for 1st Mariner Bank. As President and COO of the bank, I get to see the evolution up close every day. We’ve shown very strong growth throughout the year, and we are proud to have the opportunity to report back on this positive progress to our customers and employees.
Excellence Across the Board
We are showing robust growth in commercial and industrial loans, as well as with our commercial and consumer mortgage offerings. Almost across the board, our loan and deposit growth is up. Our numbers are projecting a very strong finish for 2015.
In every department, our employees are working incredibly hard to make 1st Mariner’s continued growth a reality. Everyone is getting more comfortable with their role, and finding out how they can contribute to make 1st Mariner Bank better every day. We’ve seen and felt the atmosphere evolve into a more sales-focused environment, with more proactive cross-sales and referral goals.
We’ve seen an outstanding number of new commercial relationships. Most importantly this year, we’re seeing traction from the products and innovation we’ve been working so hard to develop. We work to foster the best banking practices so all of our customers have a positive, personal experience with 1st Mariner Bank.
All About Customer Experience
As a community bank, everything that we do is geared towards enhancing the customer experience. Our philosophy is to prove ourselves to our customers through actions, not just words. We strive to provide the best customer service and the best products, because that’s what our customers deserve.
The Random Acts of Kindness we’ve been doing all year in celebration of the Bank’s 20th anniversary has been a great success, for both the people we have been helping and 1st Mariner Bank internally. One of our favorite Acts was when Joe Flacco visited with a group of kids from the Kennedy Krieger Institute. Playing and interacting with the children was just as rewarding for Joe and our team as it was for the kids!
Connecting with the people of Baltimore in this way reinforces the Bank’s identity as a community center. When the name ‘1st Mariner Bank’ is heard in neighborhoods around Baltimore, we want people to feel a sense of trust, one that we earn through actions – not just words.
Making Improvements for 2016
This past year, we’ve identified issues, improved operating efficiencies in a number of departments and came together as a strong unit to keep the Bank moving forward. When we decided to become a part of this Bank, we saw it as an opportunity to grow. We were able to seize the opportunity and make proactive decisions to continue to build a high value institution for Baltimore.
One big improvement we have made and will continue to make in 2016 is refining our corporate culture. We think our employees have come a long way and have shown true commitment to being brand ambassadors for the newly restored image of the Bank. We’re communicating better internally and determined to keep momentum building off momentum – never becoming stale with the Bank’s identity or innovation.
With the momentum we’ve all worked so hard to keep up, we’re confident that we are heading into 2016 with full speed ahead. Many thought that we couldn’t achieve what we have in 3 years, and we did it in 18 months. We’ve earned a spot on a competitive field and are in a solid position to grow organically. Our strong finish from 2015 will catapult us into next year and give us a solid foundation to continue what we have started. The stronger you finish, the better you can be prepared for what comes next.