Celebrating 15 Years Serving Arizona Businesses
The setting was the Moon Valley Country Club where a group of local business and community leaders gathered to discuss the prospect of starting a local business bank dedicated to serving Arizona’s business and nonprofit communities.
It was early 2000 and the number of small community banks was minimal. The general consensus from the business owners and leaders was that the local business community was not being properly served by the large national banks. This diverse group with business, higher education, nonprofit and community experience and connections wanted to change that.
The group met consistently for years, learning about what it takes to open and run a bank, obtaining investors, getting regulatory approval, assembling a board of directors, and recruiting staff. Finally on April 30, 2007 the bank opened in Phoenix with a national charter under the name RepublicBankAz, N.A.
From that day forward, the bank’s primary mission has been to partner with and support Arizona’s small business community. The bank offered a unique approach to serving customers by providing chairs at the teller line to promote a friendlier, more comfortable atmosphere.
Like any small business, the bank endured challenges and adversity, including a market collapse and recession soon after opening its doors. Everyone associated with the organization worked tirelessly to keep the bank alive and meet the needs of its customers, shareholders, employees and the community. It’s been called a miracle by some of those involved, with credit attributed to a lot hard work by a passionate and dedicated board and management team.
As the economy stabilized, the bank continued to grow and build its brand in the community. In 2017, the bank moved to a state charter and was renamed Republic Bank of Arizona. It later opened a second location in Scottsdale.
Considered a trailblazer in support of women, the bank’s board is comprised of 50 percent women and two of its top three executives are women. The bank prides itself on providing a personal approach to banking delivered by experienced bankers with a deep knowledge of the industry and the local markets.
When a global pandemic rocked the world, RBAZ again rose to the aid of businesses taking a leadership role in providing Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for Arizona’s struggling businesses. Long days and a few all-nighters later, the bank was able to fund 479 PPP loans for $39,700,000. A surprising 67% of the bank’s PPP loan customers were new customers whose previous banks failed to support their PPP loan requests.
But that’s why the bank was founded – to support the local business community.
Now in its 15th year, the bank is thriving, setting financial performance records and exceeding strategic goals. The bank is currently ranked #2 by Ranking Arizona and maintains a five-star superior rating by BauerFinancial.
The future is bright for RBAZ.
RBAZ Fun Facts
- RBAZ is one of 11 (and soon to be one of eight) locally owned bank in Arizona
- Women comprise more than 50% of the Bank’s Board of Directors
- Two of the top three executives are women
- Ranked #2 Best Bank and Top 10 for Best Employee Culture-Financial in our asset category by Ranking Arizona 2022
- Achieved 5-Star Superior Rating by BauerFinancial for 17 consecutive quarters
- Provided 479 PPP loans for $39,700,000
- Over $250 million in total assets