— Steve Muell, President/CEO
Welcome to Spring! The weather is warming and the wind is back.
First National Bank has had a very busy first quarter for 2016. The Bank rolled out APPLE PAY and we are hearing good things from our customers about the ease of payments using their phones. All of our ATM machines have been upgraded during the first quarter to be EMV compliant, which gives them the ability to process the chip card technology. This will provide a greater degree of security to you, our customer, from debit and credit card fraud.
Another area of technoloty that we have had available for some time, but you may not be aware of is E-STATEMENTS. This service is the ability to receive your bank statement electronically, thereby eliminating the need for statements to be mailed and providing additional security by not having your bank account information circulating in the mail system. If you do not currently receive your statements electronically, I would urge you to consider this option and call one of our Account Services representatives to learn more. Not only is it safer, you receive your statements sooner since you don't have to wait for it to be processed and mailed.
We are also preparing for mobile banking and we expect to be rolling that out this summer after installing and testing new technology.
During the quarter, our Associates were again very involved in community activities. The Bank sponsored the 29th Annual Senior Citizens Prom, which is a dinner/dance celebrating the seniors in our community. This year we had aproximately 300 seniors in attendance and they had a wonderful time of fun, food, and dancing. Our Associates work hard to put this program on and they have a great time being part of the evening.
The Bank also co-sponsors with the City of Alamogordo, the annual Lady of the Mountain Half Marathon run each December. Last year's event raised $8,000.00 that provided 16 scholarships for New Mexico State University-Alamogordo students to continue their educations. We are proud of the efforts of our Associates that plan and work this event each year and look forward to its continued growth.
First National Bank was also very pleased to be able to celebrate the 50th year of service anniversary for one of our Directors, S.W. "Wyatt" Atkins. His leadership, guidance, and direction over the past 50 years has been invaluable to the continued growth and success of our Bank and we thank Mr. Atkins for his service.
We continue to see challenges with our local economies, oil is down and the widely anticipated interest rate increase of 25 basis points by the Federal Reserve finally occurred at the end of 2015. The Fed has been reluctant to increase its base rate due to concerns over the strength of our economy. The impact to long term rates was temporary as we now see five and ten year rates at levels similar to those before the rate hike. There continues to be much discussion on how many more rate hikes we will see in 2016 and that is anyone's guess. The majority of those polled believe there will be one or two more increases of 25 basis points before year end. I would predict that one is likely as you have two factors to consider during this calendar year. One, the basic fundamentals driving the U.S. economy provides us with mixed signals. Two, historically, the Fed is very reluctant to raise or lower rates in the months leading to a presidential election.
We at First National Bank continue to work diligently toward protecting you, your identity and working to provide you with quality banking services. We hope that you enjoy your time on our website and we encourage you to explore the site and to visit one of our seven community banking offices. We continue to be in the business of providing business financing and look forward to working with you to grow your business. On behalf of everyone here at the Bank, THANK YOU for your patronage and continued support of our proud institution.
WHEN YOU GROW…WE GROW