NORTH JERSEY COMMUNITY BANK RIDES TECH INVESTMENT TO STRONG RETURNS
By Melinda Caliendo/NJBIZ
November 21, 2011
North Jersey Community Bank has been keeping up with larger institutions in integrating technologically advanced consumer products into the bank’s offerings. But CEO Frank Sorrentino says it’s the behind-the-scenes technology that has pushed the bank forward.
“We’re attracting more and more customers because of the consistency that we’re providing in the marketplace,” Sorrentino said. “And part of that consistency is the consistency of growing our technological capability.”
Sorrentino said the bank’s software upgrades and paperless archives have enabled processes like loan applications to move more quickly, and NJCB can now accommodate unexpected requests it could not handle in the past, including during natural disasters.
“It’s not something you can come and see, but these things paid huge dividends on those days,” Sorrentino said. “All of our branches were open the morning of Hurricane Irene and the morning after, and the day after the October snowstorm — and that was not the case with a lot of institutions.”
NJCB added remote-deposit capture a few years ago, and a fully integrated mobile banking platform earlier this year. The investment in these products was “a financial investment, a people investment and strategy investment,” said Sorrentino, who said technology upgrades are the greatest levelers of the playing field with national competitors.
“A lot of these technology investments have allowed us to keep our bank growing, be very responsive to our client demands and yet be very efficient,” he said.
The bank announced its third-quarter results last week, reporting a $41 million increase in assets from second quarter and a $52 million increase in loans in the same time period.
Clients are “at a place where someone knows their name, we know how to shake their hands, we know how to give them a hug, we know how to kiss the babies,” Sorrentino said. “And yet, we have the technological platform that allows them to actually do business with us.”