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Northrim Bank becomes first bank in the region to offer commercial banking

Northrim Bank opened a new Financial Center in Nome this week, becoming the first community bank in the region to offer commercial banking. The company opened a temporary location on Front Street in December aiming to meet the needs of the Nome community after Typhoon Merbok. The new center opened Monday, July 17th. 

The addition of the Nome branch brings Northrim Bank to 18 branches across 10 cities around the state. Northrim Bank offers personal, business, and commercial banking. Commercial banking focuses on serving larger companies, and institutions, which will give more banking options to the region as it continues to grow. The new branch is locally staffed and led by the lending branch manager, Drew McCann. 

The Director of Marketing and Communications for Northrim Bank, Kari Skinner, says that as a community bank, community involvement is vital for a local bank. To engage with the local community and contribute to the Nome and Norton Sound region, Skinner says the company plans to be involved in the community in many ways. They started their grand opening with a $10,000 donation toward the construction Home Plate Apartments in Nome.

“We expect to be in the community in many ways, whether that’s through our contributions or donations, which we’ll be making today as well to Home Plate Apartments through the Nome Community Center. We’re making a large donation today as part of our grand opening.”

Banking needs and challenges unique to Nome relate to rural Alaska as a whole. Skinner says, part of the challenge is realizing that rural Alaska has different banking needs than the rest of the state, and that’s what makes community so important to the Nome Northrim Bank branch.

“Rural Alaska is different from anywhere else in the U.S. Recognizing that is, of course, at the forefront for all that we do. It’s why we feel that having a presence in the community is so important, like a physical brick and mortar, presence. But we also have very sophisticated banking tools, through our electronic banking, through a lot of our online capabilities.”

With the influx of business expected from the Port of Nome, having a commercial banking option will be useful for larger companies, as well as giving residents of the area another banking option. To stay updated with the latest trends and developments in banking, Northrim assess how they can best utilize their tools while keeping up with their online banking channels. 

“We have robust online banking applications and electronic banking channels. For us, staying on top of all of that, making sure that we know what’s coming, how our teams can best utilize the different tools or how trends are changing, really allows us to make sure that what we’re providing to the customer is always superior customer service.”

For those with limited experience with banking, Skinner says McCann and his team are ready to help.

“We encourage our branch teams to be those local experts. They’re making decisions for our customers at the local level. Drew McCann is empowered to make decisions to help his customers here in the community.”

The donation made toward the Home Plate Apartments in partnership with the Nome Community Center directly supports Nome residents for years to come. The Northrim Bank location is located in the City Hall building on 5th avenue in Nome.

Photo at top: Son of branch manager Drew McCann cuts the ribbon, officially opening service to the new location. Photo by Ava White

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