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Breaking Through the Noise with the Real Story


By Amy Lou Blunt, Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer

With all the doomsayers monopolizing the media warning of inflation, continued Fed rate increases, and current/impending recession — which they insist will result in credit deterioration, banks tightening credit underwriting standards and a “credit crunch” — a false impression is being cast over the entire industry. Yes, we have seen some very large banks fail within the last few months for a variety of factors both internal and external.

Mismanaging the bank’s balance sheet — including investments and concentrations — would certainly be an internal issue. However, a media frenzy inciting runs on certain banks is very much an external contributing factor and should not be overlooked.

Trust is essential in any relationship. That is exactly what we strive to have with our depositors and borrowers – a relationship. The Bank files public reports quarterly that include a balance sheet, income statement and detailed information on the mix and performance of the loan portfolio. This information is summarized and published in a quarterly press release, and we are available to address your questions and concerns with full transparency. Please take advantage of the benefits of banking with your community bank and contact any executive officer or manager to continue that open relationship.

In response to the much-ballyhooed “credit crunch”, I want to go on the record to assure you our existing loan portfolio is performing extremely well and is of very high quality. We do not need to restrict credit or tighten underwriting criteria; we have based our credit culture on fundamentals that have not changed. RBAZ also has a very strong pipeline of new loan requests, which will support expanding jobs and further strengthen our local economy.

Donations for Fallen Officers Supported

Speaking of local support, I would like to switch gears for a moment. At RBAZ, I have the privilege of leading the Bank’s Culture Club, which supports employee health, empowerment and team building, as well as local nonprofit organizations and community causes.

The recent untimely passing of two of our Phoenix police officers has afforded RBAZ the opportunity to align with the City of Phoenix Police Department and establish deposit accounts for donations to support the fallen officers’ families in their time of grief and need. In such a dangerous line of work, future accounts like this are inevitable, and RBAZ is humbled and proud to fulfill this need in the community, now and going forward.

If you would like to donate to this cause, please let branch staff know and they will assist you.