Magazine article Independent Banker

Full-Service Lending

Magazine article Independent Banker

Full-Service Lending

Article excerpt

On top of fostering teamwork, Allen Kramer generates results by going the extra mile

Providing superior customer service is an almost universal competitive edge for nearly all community banks, and that's precisely the strategy Allen Kramer has used to achieve outstanding lending success at Phoenixville Federal Bank & Trust in Phoenixville, Pa.

"There have been times in my career when we didn't have the most competitive rates, but our service sold the customer," says Kramer, senior vice president/manager retail lending at Phoenixville Federal.

Central to his success has been the consultative approach he's used with Phoenixville Federal's customers. While many consumers, for example, may ask for a loan that they read about online, that particular loan might not be the best match for their individual goals and circumstances. In those cases, Kramer spends time finding those borrowers better matches.

"We're not order-takers here," he points out. "We really try to navigate customers to a product that's going to be best for them."

"It is the clientele who comes to us because of our reputation that results in a retail loan portfolio that's praised by examiners," notes Phoenixville Federal's CEO Dick Kunsch. He adds that surveys of Kramer's customers read like a "fan club."

Beginning as a teller at Phoenixville Federal 24 years ago, Kramer worked his way up the career ladder. Following his CEO's community-minded example, he regularly pursues ongoing education opportunities, including a Dale Carnegie leadership course. He also adheres to "very conservative underwriting standards" that safeguard his customers and the bank. …

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