St. Clair News Aegis (Pell City, AL)

Features

February 18, 2009

Twenty Years Serving

It seems today hometown banks are all but a thing of the past. An anachronism, something from a bygone era, when the bank was a part of the community and the tellers and loan officers were friends, relatives and church members. Like in an old black and white movie in which the bank was a friendly place where a person was given a loan not just on a group of numbers but on the character of the individual.

Such a bank does still exist in St. Clair County and it is called Metro Bank.

Metro Bank, founded in 1989, is celebrating its twentieth year in operation.

A celebration and open house is planned for May or June with the completion of the new operation center on Highway 231 in Pell City.

“We started right here on 231 in a trailer,” said Annette Allen, an original employee and now head of human recourses for all Metro Banks. “We were all so excited when we opened, I didn’t have any idea the bank would grow like it has,” she recalls. “But I think Ray did.”

The late Ray Cox, the founder of Metro Bank had a vision for opening a local bank in Pell City while he was still in high school, says current Metro Bank president Don Perry.

“Ray was a visionary, he saw what this bank could be and surround himself with people who could make it happen,” says Perry.

Metro Bank began with ten employees in a temporary facility in Pell City and now has approximately 160 employees in nine locations: three in Pell City, and one each in Ragland, Lincoln, Heflin, Ashville, Southside and a new facility in Moody.

While large publicly held banks have seen contraction and even collapse Metro is not only surviving, it is thriving.

Perry says that the reason Metro has been so successful is its concentration on services to local people and local business.

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