A bank for the community

Local investors thought it was time for the community to have a locally owned bank, and when Moffat County National Bank opened Wednesday, it became a reality.

"The fact that we're locally owned will allow us to help people better," Investor Scott Cook said. "We felt Craig needed a local bank that was owned local people."

Before moving into its new building, Moffat County National Bank had a loan production office at 12 W. Victory Way.

Dave Fleming, who was formerly the president of First National Bank of the Rockies, said he jumped at the opportunity to be president of the new bank for several reasons.

"This bank gave me an opportunity to have ownership, plus I prefer local-type banking," he said.

Fleming, who has 20 years of financial experience, with nearly 10 of it at First National Bank of the Rockies, said the bank has 15 investors from Craig.

He said through all his experiences he saw a need for a locally owned and operated bank.

"The services are very similar to (other banks)," he said. "But we feel we have a pretty good feel on the local community. Of course, we will make profits, but in our case the profits will stay in the valley."

The goal of the bank, Fleming said, is to provide the community good banking service.

"A bank is instrumental in the growth of any community, and we hope we can be a part of that," he said.

A big selling point for customers, Investor John Ponikvar said, was the idea of a local bank with judgments made in Craig.

Instead of people in other states making decisions on banking issues such as loans, he said people who actually know the community will make the decisions.

"We know some of (the community's) needs and can be more responsive," he said. "(This bank) gives us the opportunity to help service the community."

Ponikvar said he was approached by Fleming and fellow investor Dean Brosious about the idea of a locally owned bank, and he thought because of their experience it would be a great idea.

"The concept of a local bank with decisions made locally made a lot of sense," he said. "We know the community and the people."

Moffat County National Bank's lobby is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.

The drive-up window is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.

Luke Graham can be reached at 824-7031 or lgraham@craigdailypress.com

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