Guiding Principles

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Facts and Figures Guiding Principles History

We are one of the nation’s premier financial services companies, consisting of a “Collection of Great Banks” and other financial services businesses located in some of the country’s best growth markets.

Our goal is to create value. Value for our customers. Value for the communities we serve. Value for our employees. And, most importantly, value for our shareholders. Creating shareholder value must be a preeminent objective, since the support of our owners, whose capital has been entrusted to us, is essential to our very existence as an independent enterprise. The creation of enduring shareholder value requires that we achieve consistently superior risk-adjusted returns on capital, and that we achieve healthy, strong earnings growth.

The critical elements of our business which must be mastered if we are to succeed might be characterized as the three legs of a stool:

  • Effective management of a wide variety of risks

  • Sales and the creation of a quality experience for our customers

  • Control of operating expenses

These three components of our business are at odds with one another, and must be continually balanced and strengthened.

We want to have a reputation for being “conservatively” entrepreneurial; for being nimble, innovative and energetic in creating solutions for our customers while being judicious in our acceptance of risks.

We recognize that banking is a “local” business, and that to be successful, we must have very strong ties to the communities we serve and strong relationships with our customers.

We strive to make our clients stronger by creating economic opportunity for them; our goal is to provide products and services that strengthen our customers, not weaken them. We want to be proud of the customers we’re associated with, and we want them to be proud to be associated with us. We are committed to improving the quality of life for our customers on every rung of the economic ladder by enthusiastically engaging ourselves in community issues and offering creative financing solutions to challenging community needs.

We know that an exceptional company can only be built by exceptional people, working together as a great team. We value our employees, and we are committed to search out, recognize and create fulfilling opportunities for outstanding people within our organization, and to reward them for their contributions to our success.

Above all, we recognize that our business involves a great degree of public trust and must always be conducted with integrity and decency.

We will operate within the spirit and letter of the law. We will be fair and forthright in our dealings with others. And we will strive to treat people – whether they be customers, employees, shareholders or even competitors – with respect and appreciation.


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