Our Employees Are Primary

Ron Haley
Ron Haley

By Ron Haley

River Community Bank was launched in 1999 by a group of local citizens who remembered, and wanted again, what community banking used to be: locally owned, community-based, hometown banking among friends and neighbors who treat people like people.

River Community Bank primarily serves three rural counties in Southside Virginia for retail banking and seven metropolitan areas in North Carolina with mortgage banking services. Our community bank is dedicated to each community in which we are located. In addition to being local bankers, our employees provide thousands of hours volunteering in those communities each year. We understand community banks such as ours will provide much-needed capital in smaller communities as they strive to compete in a changing business landscape.

River Community Bank
Martinsville, Va.
ROAE in 2015: 15.26 percent
Assets: $114 million
Retail locations: Four
Employees: 96
Founded: 2000
Website: www.rcbna.com

In addition to providing traditional banking services, River Community Bank has a dynamic mortgage operation with strategically located loan production offices. The mortgage division was established in 2006 with the plan to diversify earnings and provide additional services to our customers. Being located in urban areas, especially ones with major universities, allowed our community bank to weather the recent economic downturn. Although we are a small bank, we have almost 100 employees, and commissioned loan officers within the mortgage division account for a sizeable portion of our workforce.

Our customers have an expectation of us to live up to our motto: “Our Community, Your Bank.” The two most significant factors contributing to River Community Bank’s success in 2015 were a continuing increase in small-business loan demand and a consistent mortgage loan pipeline. Our advantages over the larger regional banks are a direct result of our founding principles: We know our customers and their families, our decisions are made by bankers with a vested interest in our communities, and we are able to react quickly to loan requests.

Despite its size, River Community Bank consistently achieves a net interest margin around 5 percent. Our business plan does not include buying loans or deposits with favorable interest rates just for the sake of growth.

Having been in banking for more than 40 years, I have witnessed many changes in both banking and business practices. However, there has always been one constant: Success is dependent on the quality of your employees. We can build the best banking offices in town, but if we did not have quality, knowledgeable and caring employees inside those buildings, our opportunity for success would be diminished. The commitment and loyalty of our employees will continue to be the primary factor in our success, as will the ongoing engagement and dedication of our board of directors.

Community banking will remain unpredictable and challenging. Community banks will need to continue to be vocal and committed as we press for regulatory relief. While there will always be a need for community banking and community bankers, maintaining the latest technology is critical, especially with the younger generations. We will need to understand how to continue to provide exceptional personal service and quality banking services to those who never walk through the doors of a traditional bank.

Ron Haley (rhaley@rcbna.com) is president and CEO of River Community Bank.