There were already a lot of banks in Portsmouth. What prompted you to start another one?
We felt strongly that the business owners, entrepreneurs, professionals and executives who keep this area on the move could benefit from a locally owned commercial bank that was created to serve their needs.
Is local ownership really that important?
We think it’s critically important for a variety of reasons. First of all, because we’re here, we can develop in-depth relationships with our customers, their families and their companies. You just can’t do that unless you’re close at hand. Secondly, local ownership means faster decision-making. Too often with the other banks in town, businesspeople can wait longer than they’d like to find out if their loan request has been approved, their line of credit raised or the financing for a new project approved. We can assure you, that won’t happen at Optima. Because clients are only a desk away from the actual decision makers, turnaround is very, very quick.
You contend that a smaller bank offers numerous advantages over the so-called megabanks. Can you explain what you mean?
Again, it has most to do with the nature of the relationships that exist between a smaller bank and its customers. The larger banks that are represented in Portsmouth are not headquartered in Portsmouth; rather, their HQs are situated either out of state or even out of the country. You just can’t get the same attention from a larger bank as you can from a small, local one.
What can clients expect from a relationship with Optima Bank & Trust?
In a few words, in-depth personal attention. We want to know our clients by their first names, and we want them to know us by ours. Clients can expect us to develop a deep, working knowledge of their companies, their businesses and their personal circumstances. Having this level of understanding allows us to function in a true consultative capacity with them. In the final analysis, we believe that’s where our real value lies.
How important is technology in the daily functioning of Optima Bank & Trust?
Extremely important. Rest assured, our technology is every bit as robust as what is offered at the large banks. Our reliable, intuitive Online Banking service offers secure access to your account information, online bill payment, email statements and notices and interactive data transfers to Quicken®, QuickBooks® and Microsoft® Money products. Telephone banking is an option for those who prefer it and is especially convenient for those who travel and want their account information readily available. ATM access through all of the major networks provides easy access to your funds day or night.
Quicken and QuickBooks are trademarks and service marks of Intuit Inc. Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
Is it safe to assume that you’re optimistic about the economic vitality of Portsmouth and the Seacoast area?
The area’s economy is quite good now, and we think it’s only going to get better in the years to come. The theme line of our bank is, “Everything Is Possible”, and we really believe it. We see things as full speed ahead around here for the foreseeable future.