With 28,000 customers at 15 branches, it’s no wonder that River City Bank, with a branch in Placerville, has survived and even thrived in the current economic recession.
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One of the original River City Bank, Placerville, stockholders and a Placerville resident, Danno Raffetto, said,”The smaller, independent banks have the pulse of the community. They know the names of the individuals who come in, saying ‘Hi, Danno.’ In a small town like Placerville most folks are hesitant to borrow money and they kind of wait until the last minute. Then, when they need it, River City produces loans quickly.”
Carolyn Hibbeln, 51, assistant vice president banking center manager, has been with the bank, which was established Nov. 22, 1975, for 15 years.
“It’s our clients and our staff that account for our continued success,” Hibbeln said. “Our staff is loyal and hardworking. We treat our customers like family, and we pride ourselves on giving individual service.”
Hibbeln added, “We are committed to providing our customers a superior level of banking. We have weathered the (economic) storm and have positioned ourselves for the future. With hard work, determination and tackling troubled loans early, River City Bank returned to making a profit fairly quickly compared to our peers.”
Hibbeln said her staff is justifiably proud that the Placerville branch won Branch of the Year within the River City family last year.
That award wouldn’t surprise Bill Scheuner, owner of Grandpa’s Cellar in Camino, who has been banking with River City since 1978.
“We chose them because of their location and reputation, which we learned about when we came here,” said Scheuner, 78. “We use just about all their services, including a line of credit, checking and savings, plus collections from other businesses.”
Scheuner added that the bank focuses on giving great service locally, and said, “They have smart management and great employees.”
Asked whether he would recommend River City Bank to his friends, he replied, “Hands down.”
Bill’s wife, Pat, added to her husband’s enthusiasm for River City Bank.
“Everyone always says, ‘Oh, the parking’s terrible in downtown Placerville, but I’ve always found a parking place and think it’s very convenient,” Pat began. “River City is a one-stop banking experience, and after I complete my banking I love to walk Main Street and look in the windows and do a bit of shopping.
“The staff at the bank is so friendly and this little bank offers all the services of the big boys. Even when in Europe, my River City Bank card works in the ATMs over there. And I love the online banking that’s offered. It really is a one-stop bank.”
Scott Dawson, owner of Triangle Well Drilling in Rescue, said his father and the business have used River City for 30-plus years and Dawson and his wife have banked there for a decade.
“It’s the outstanding service, bar none,” said Dawson, 30. “In terms of big banks, small banks they are the best. And the secret of their success, especially in this economy, is because of their people, people like Carolyn who take time to get to know and care about their customers. If there are any problems, they jump on them and give it that small-town treatment.”
As the nation’s economic engine struggles to pick up speed, Hibbeln said River City Bank is facing the future with no fear.
“The future of River City is quite bright,” she said. “We will be celebrating our 40th anniversary in 2013 and plan to be in business for many years to come. River City Bank has continued to post profits for the last seven consecutive quarters.
“We are regarded as one of the strongest banks in the nation by Bauer Financial Inc., an independent bank-rating firm,” she added. “Bauer Financial’s highest 5-Star Superior rating signifies strength and stability. To earn this superior rating, River City Bank maintains impressive capital levels, an enviable loan portfolio and notable profitability.
“These top ratings assure our customers they are dealing with one of the safest and soundest financial institutions in the country.”
River City Bank is at 348 Main St. in Placerville. Call 530-626-0700.