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January 14, 2010

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Valley Green Bank opens 3rd area office in Radnor

The Valley Green Bank’s executive team (from left) Bob Marino, president, Delaware Valley Region; Al Thorell, chairman, and Jay Goldstein, president and CEO.

Valley Green Bank this week will expand its reach into the Delaware Valley with a new regional office that will specialize in lending to commercial and industrial clients.

Bob Marino, a banker with 26 years experience, will lead a Radnor-based team of National Penn Bank transplants that has already developed a strong relationship with large businesses in the region.

“A small bank gives us the opportunity to make our clients big fish in a small pond,” Marino said in a phone interview on Monday, adding that his team’s business model represented a perfect “complement” to Valley Green’s small-business-oriented loan portfolio.

Marino has served as president of National Penn Bank’s southern region since 2006. He oversaw the operations of 25 branches, three commercial loan centers, 200 employees and $1.4 billion in deposits in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware and Chester countries.

Joining Marino at the regional office will be Mark Biedermann, chief credit officer; Tim Snyder, senior vice president of cash management and government banking; vice presidents Matthew Graham, Daniel Krewson, and Debra Palochak; relationship assistant Traci Sebastian and marketing assistant Anne Morris.

“What made Valley Green Bank so attractive to me was its ability to provide credit on high-quality borrowers, a problem for larger regional and national banks hampered by significant losses from failed investments and troubled loan portfolios,” Marino said. “My team and I are looking forward to offering Valley Green Bank’s high level of performance to commercial customers across the region.”

Indeed, while many large banks are struggling to regain revenues and credibility in the wake of the subprime mortgage crisis, Valley Green was able to end 2009 in the black.

Valley Green president Jay Goldstein attributes the bank’s surging success to hiring and retaining experienced lenders who understand the needs of small businesses in Northwest Philadelphia.

“Our mantra from the beginning has been to know the customers, know the collateral and build a sound loan portfolio,” Goldstein said in an interview last week at the bank’s Mt. Airy office. “Those who make decisions associated with lending have not been removed from the process. [They are] involved in the community and have their feet on the ground.”

That community focus has also allowed the bank to provide “quick, responsive service” to customers with checking and savings accounts, according to Goldstein, and that in turn has diversified the bank’s revenue stream and given its loan officers the flexibility to reach customers throughout the Delaware Valley.

When asked if expansion might make Valley Green too big to be a community bank, Goldstein said that Valley Green had been lending to businesses in the Delaware Valley from the beginning. He argued that the expansion was a logical extension, especially with financial customers so wary of big banks.

“Those who didn’t consider smaller banks in the past are now coming around,” he said. “As a result we’re seeing almost double the loan demand in the past year versus years before.”

Goldstein anticipates that demand to keep increasing for the foreseeable future.

“We were hopeful that we would have this level of success, but we’ve been overwhelmed by support from Northwest Philadelphia,” Goldstein said.

He is confident that Marino and his team will help Valley Green develop into a “strong and vibrant community bank” that offers high-quality lending services to the region well into the next decade.

 




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