Banker wants to get back to basics

By Micah Panczyk Record-Courier staff writer Published:

Veteran banker Rick Coe wants to return to the "old-fashioned" way of doing business. "I felt like the 'banker' had been taken away from me," said Coe, who retired last week from Bank One, where he had worked since 1973 and most recently served as retail vice-president. "The freedom to make decisions affecting local customers had been taken from my hands." This restriction compelled Coe's departure to head to the Portage Community Bank, where he will serve as president and chief executive officer. The locally-owned institution will open in May at the historic H.R. Loomis Home, 1311 E. Main St. in Ravenna. "We selected this site because it reflects the philosophy of our initiative," he said. "It's an historic structure with an enduring heritage in the community. Our bank will be similarly rooted in the community, bringing personalized banking to Portage County residents." Coe reproached the "credit-scoring system" levied by large conglomerates, saying these banks refuse to consider the character of the customer seeking financial assistance. "You have to believe in whatever you're doing, Coe said. "And I believe that banking is about helping people attain their financial goals." PCB will offer a full array of personal services aimed at attaining this end, Coe said. The bank will offer personal loans, mortgages and commercial loans tailored to small business owners. The bank's distinctive flavor will result from an honest interest in its customers _ an interest that is unique to small, locally-owned operations, he said. "We aim to make the overwhelming majority of our stockholders the very people we serve," he said. Throughout his career, Coe has served as president of a host of civic groups, such as the United Way of Portage County, the Ravenna Rotary, the Ravenna Area Chamber of Commerce, and the I.C.S. Home and School Association. In addition, he is a recipient of the United Way's Distinguished Volunteer of the Year award and is a winner of the Chamber of Commerce Ravens Award. "I'm excited," Coe said of PCB's prospect. "We're assembling an executive team of local talent that should prove exceptional. We hope to announce the members of this team in the coming weeks."

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