The newest branch of Mount Airy headquartered Surrey Bank & Trust opens for business Monday morning. Bank officials and community members gathered Friday for an official ribbon cutting and open house at the new location constructed at the corner of CC Camp Road and North Bridge Street.
Surrey Bank & Trust started its presence in Elkin three years ago when bank officials decided to open a loan office in Surry County’s second largest town, noted Ted Ashby, president of the bank.
“We started looking at our penetration in Surry County. We had three branches in Mount Airy and one in Pilot Mountain, and Elkin is the second largest area in Surry County,” he said of the decision to branch out.
Bill Johnson, who was a member of the Surrey Bank Board of Directors loan committee, had 15 years’ experience with Southern National Bank and he decided to leave the construction industry and get back into banking. Ashby said he was brought in as the city executive at the loan office.
“That was fortunate for us,” Ashby said.
“We’ve secured a large enough number of loans to make a branch profitable, so we thought it was time to offer a full service branch to the people in Elkin and get our roots deeper in Elkin,” Ashby said after the ribbon cutting ceremony.
He said one of the advantages of banking at Surrey Bank is that most decisions about loans are made in the local branch with Johnson. “Most of the time you can get the answer that day,” Ashby said. “We think that makes a big difference in how you interact with customers and buy in.”
The move to open the new branch, which will be managed by Tammy Butcher, moves Surrey Bank to the third largest bank in Surry County, slightly behind Wells Fargo. BB&T is the largest bank, Ashby said. “Our branch network was not as large as there, so that’s what we’re trying to rectify.”
Just as the larger banks, Surrey Bank has online banking, mobile banking, bill pay, ATMS, “all the bells and whistles,” Ashby added. “The difference is if something goes wrong, we have someone there to fix it.”
He said, “We have a lot of confidence in what’s going on in Elkin.”
In addition to the new branch in Elkin, Surrey Bank opened a loan office in Wilkesboro in June.
“When you look at the socioeconomics, the people in Elkin and Wilkes County are similar to the rest of Surry County,” he said of the decision to continue expanding out N.C. 268. “They have a lot of the same core of beliefs of how we do business.”
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.