Anchor Bank has been serving local communities in Grays Harbor, Thurston, Mason, Pierce, and Lewis Counties for more than a century.
Started in 1907 as a traditional savings and loan, Anchor Bank originally focused on savings accounts and mortgages for its borrowers, in a time when savings and loans weren’t allowed to offer checking accounts.
“We evolved with time – and banking in general – and moved away from the savings and loan charter in the late 1980s,” says Terri Degner, Chief Financial Officer of Anchor Bank.
“We’d begun offering checking accounts well before that,” she continues, “and we had the ability to offer a variety of products. It was really just a structural change in our regulatory body.”
Another change to the organizations structure came more recently, in January of 2011, when Anchor Bank became a stock entity. “Before that, we had been a mutual,” says Degner. “Now we’re happy to say that many of our customers are shareholders, which is wonderful.”
From its beginning in Grays Harbor, Anchor Bank has grown to 13 branches across five counties.
And today, Anchor Bank offers all the standard products and services you expect from a financial institution, from loans to checking accounts, money market to certificates of deposit, and much more
Degner stresses that the small business customer is very important to Anchor Bank.
“With the current economic times we’re in, it’s a challenge for many businesses – large, small, medium,” she says. “We really pride ourselves on continuing to lend to small businesses. We continue to look for opportunities to help them grow and expand and hire new people and maintain what they have.”
Anchor bank offers a small commercial loan product that’s focused on the small business owner, with shortened periods of time for approval and processes. “It’s designed to work with those customers and look for opportunities for them to grow their business,” Degner says.
She acknowledges that any customer can go to nearly any area bank and get similar services and products offered by Anchor Bank. “And I think we’re all very competitively priced,” she admits. “But one of the huge things that sets us apart is our staff and the service we provide – what we consider banking beyond the ordinary.”
There’s much more to the experience with an Anchor Bank staff member than simply receiving a customer’s deposit or loan payment, or handing over an application.
“It’s more than that,” Degner says. “It’s talking to the individual. Are there other things we can do for them? There have even been times where we’ve had staff go out and help people start their cars in the parking lot or given them a ride.”
“And I think that when customers and potential customers come into our branches and work with our people, they feel that and they know that there’s a difference,” she continues.
This desire to go above and beyond the expected that speaks so clearly to the deep commitment Anchor Bank and its nearly 150 employees share in providing both personal and financial support to over 60 local charitable organizations.
“Anchor has always been very committed to the communities we are in,” Degner says. “And it’s very important to us as a community bank that not only the bank support the community, but our staff support the community, as well.”
Anchor Bank has always encouraged and supported its employees regarding community service. “If they have something they really believe in and are involved in, Anchor will also be involved from the corporate side.”
A number of Anchor Bank employees work with and sit on the board of Habitat for Humanity, the nonprofit organization dedicated to building homes for those in need.
“That’s a program those individuals very much believe in, so they give their time and Anchor supports them and the group as well, with contributions,” Degner says.
Grays Harbor Anchor Bank employees have formed a huge group in support of Relay For Life. “They give their own time to the fundraisers, and then Anchor Bank supports the individuals and provides corporate sponsorship, as well,” she continues.
“We very much believe, obviously, in the community, but also the family and kids,” says Degner. Anchor Bank sponsors “Anchor Family Movie Night,” with one of the local schools and the parks program in Grays Harbor. Popcorn is served alongside a big outdoor movie shown for kids and their families.
In Thurston County, Anchor Bank sponsors the Christmas Forest gift shop at Providence St. Peter Foundation. Degner is on the executive committee for the annual event. “It’s a great group,” she says.
This dedication to a variety of community organizations speaks to the strong ties between Anchor Bank and its customers.
“Our customers are our neighbors,” Degner says.
Anchor Bank Corporate Headquarters
100 West First St
Aberdeen, WA 98520
Information for all Anchor Bank locations can be found here.