CenterState Bank:  Centered on Community and Customer Service

In today’s bustling, profit-driven corporate world, a personal connection can make all the difference. That’s the reason many customers choose to do business with a “community bank.”

“Community” is defined by where the decision-making is done. At CenterState Bank—unlike national chain banks—decisions are made locally.

Customers who loved the former Gateway Bank will find even more to appreciate in CenterState Bank.

“Gateway was such a great bank in giving time and money back into our community,” notes Tom Ingram, CenterState Bank community president for Marion and Alachua Counties. “As CenterState, we’re still a community bank, just a larger one, as we are the largest community bank in the state of Florida with over 10 billion in assets and locations from Key West up to Jacksonville.

“Our vision and philosophies haven’t changed. We still have local autonomy and leadership and we support our community, but now we have the benefit of being able to make larger loans. Personally, I have triple the lending authority I had before with Gateway Bank.”

Ingram adds that having an expanded footprint and multiple locations is a definite plus for customers, as CenterState Bank is able to offer an even greater commitment to its customers. For example, in addition to mobile banking, there is even a deposit courier pickup service for area businesses.

Because the majority of lending decisions are made in-house, it remains a very personal process that keeps the best interests of the borrowers as a primary focus. CenterState Bank is locally market driven, meaning decisions are not made by corporate owners in another state but rather by a local banking team who best knows the market.

“We have a very large lending team for commercial and consumer loans. We have a huge amount of resources with a very talented team of lenders and are very committed to commercial and retail lending,” says Ingram.

“We approach business decisions with an emphasis on long term growth, sustainable profits and the career development of our officers and staff. We will not sacrifice credit quality for short term gain.”

Customer service isn’t just a catch phrase at CenterState. The team here recognizes you have a choice in where you decide to bank. That’s why customer appreciation is woven through everything they do.

Walk into the lobby and you’re surrounded by a warm and welcoming environment, from the decor and furnishings to the friendly, genuine smiles on the faces of staff members who come to know you by name. The aroma of freshly baked cookies add to the down-home feeling, and every client can help themselves to one of the tasty sweets, as well as a complimentary bottle of water.

Don’t be surprised if there’s some kind of amusing game taking place on Friday afternoons. It’s just another way the CenterState team helps you warm up for the weekend.

At CenterState Bank, personal attention in customer service goes beyond just remembering your name.

“We want our customers to have high expectations for the services we provide,” notes Ingram. “We communicate well with our customers and believe relationships are more valuable than transactions. We think of it as ‘relationship banking,’ because this bank was built on long-term friendships, and that’s important to us; it’s why we exist.”

This kind of approach has made CenterState Bank number one in market share when it comes to banking in Ocala.

“Core values are not just a statement; we really live these,” says Ingram. “We understand that faith and family come before everything else, and that is a fundamental piece of our culture at CenterState Bank.”

This is an institution that values its employees as the heart of its business and even has a fund in place to help any employees that may be struggling. There’s also a “Random Acts of Kindness” program in which employees get $100 each month to go out and implement random acts of kindness in our community.

A wide array of personal banking services are available, ranging from home mortgages and home equity lines of credit to wealth and treasury management, health savings accounts and much more.

From agribusiness to commercial real estate and more, the experts at CenterState Bank can assist with any type of corporate banking needs, including lending for small businesses and commercial ventures.

CenterState Bank offers ATM services, extended drive-thru hours Monday through Friday and mobile and online banking services. In Marion County, there are four different CenterState Bank locations, making it easy for you to bank wherever you call home.

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