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Summit carries local banking tradition into future

The Town Courier
February 20, 2005
Staff Writer: Chuck Williams

Just two years old and with assets reaching $75 million, Summit Community Bank at 1600 Abbott Rd. is on its game, and looking to the future with Internet banking and regional branch offices.

The community bank, which opened its doors in January, 2003, and relocated to its custom-built quarters on Abbott, minutes north of Grand River last September, provides banking services geared to local needs and issues. “We want to grow in the area and we expect to branch in the future,” said Summit Community Bank president John Abbott.

The locally-owned bank focuses on customer service and bucks the trend of out-of-state institutions entering mid-Michigan to replace local names with national chains. “There were eight or nine banks headquartered here at one time. Those banks are all gone and we felt there was a void,” said Abbott.

Community bank advantages, according to Abbott, means the management, the ownership and the board of directors are all locals. “Our board of directors are locals people. The management is all local. You’ve got a problem? Come see the president,” Abbott said. “With the larger banks, the management is somewhere—but it’s not here.”

Longstanding area businessmen and experienced bankers Abbott, Jack Nimphie, Wayne Weaver and Chris Nugent started Summit Community Bank just a little over two years ago.

Local ownership gives the customer more flexibility to discuss their needs, Abbott said. “They don’t have to fit into a little box in order to become a customer.”

Banking services like commercial and construction loans are popular at Summit Community Bank. “We specialize in real estate lending, both commercial and residential, and we do quite a bit of commercial real estate, like office and apartment building,” Abbott said.

On the deposit side, Summit Community Bank’s services include checking and certificates. “Money market accounts are popular for us here. Our rates are very competitive,” Abbot said. The bank also offers IRA and mortgage services.

“In general, we offer many of the services the larger banks offer. We don’t try to do it all but what we do, we do well. It’s the service and how we deliver that separates us. We think the service is what we can really deliver on. If you have a special need, we can take care of it here,” Abbott said.

Growth plans include rolling out Internet banking, sometime later this year. “We’re thinking about phone banking after that, and then some additional ‘brick and mortar’ within the market areas,” Abbott said. ‘Brick and mortar’ means a new structure.

Summit Community Bank is located at 1600 Abbott Rd., between Saginaw and Lake Lansing Roads, and can be contacted at (517) 664-1912 or on the Web at www.mysummitbank.com. It is open Monday to Thursday (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.), Friday (9 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and Saturday morning (9 a.m. – 12 noon).

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