By Paula Diaz
A new local bank has just exploded on the El Paso lending scene.
Western Heritage Bank, which began in New Mexico, is aiming to make its name known throughout the region.
With branches in Deming and Las Cruces, the bank now has four locations in the El Paso area: two on Mesa and one at Gateway East and at Trawood. There are plans to open offices in the Far East and West sides of the city.
“We went from 0 to four branches in less than 10 months,” said Robert “Bob” Snow, vice chairman of Western Heritage. “We are always looking to add more. We really can do everything. We offer the services needs of any bank.”
The bank founder is F. James Volk, who is chairman. Greg Cory is director, president and chief executive officer. The duo began operating in El Paso after buying Pioneer Banks three branches.
“We were so excited to expand Western Heritage’s footprint in the El Paso market,” Volk said in a press release. “Since we opened our first El Paso branch last year, we have been embraced by the community.”
The key for the bank has been to focus on small business lending and mortgages, Snow said.
“The more capital we can put into this community, the better,” he said. “Strong lending puts more people back to work. We want to grow with the community and help it grow.”
Currently there are about 60 employees, but the bank is looking to add more people now that the it has added mortgage lending, Snow said.
“We have a terrific team,” he said.
Snow, a long time banker, came out of retirement to join Western Heritage. He is often asked if he is enjoying his work.
“I am having a great time,” Snow said. “I have returned to my roots, local banking. All decisions are made locally. I missed that. Western Heritage is going to be a big part of El Paso’s booming economy. I am excited about that.”