The quant establishment sits firmly in the same lot it was founded on 103 years ago. Just glancing at it, one would may be surprised to discover that the Bank of Oak Ridge has been awarded the nation's highest rating.
In December 2012 the Bank of Oak Ridge was awarded the “Superior 5-Star rating” by Bauer Financial Incorporated.
Bank president Gene Allen said that his bank also ranked number two in Louisiana based on its “excellent” asset quality in September 2012.
“The 5-Star rating is based on our asset quality, which is excellent,” Allen explained. “And assets come from investments, meaning that where we have invested money is very secure and safe. And the capital structure of the bank is very strong.”
Allen said he began working at the Bank of Oak Ridge about 37 years ago and the majority of the banks capital comes from the locals of Oak Ridge and surrounding areas.
According to the “Banks of Louisiana” official document, the Bank of Oak Ridge had $53,072 in total assets in September 2012 and is ranked above all other state banks except for a bank in Haughton, Louisiana.
Bank cashier Lynn Wiggins said she began working at the Bank of Oak Ridge about 35 years ago and said that unlike many large banks, the Bank of Oak Ridge is small and she's familiar with most of the customers on a first-name basis.
“One unique thing about this bank is that there are only three full-time employees and two part-time employees,” Wiggins said.
Longtime customer Veola Robinson said she has been living in Oak Ridge for 79 years and for as long as she can remember has always banked with the Bank of Oak Ridge.
“It's closer for me to go here and everybody's nice and friendly,” Robinson said.
Tommy Rolfe, another established customer, said he would not deal with any other bank.
“I go here because of the personal service,” Rolfe said. “I have been going here since 1935 and now I'm retired and have a savings account here.”
Allen said the 5-Star ranking is an excellent rating that has almost become customary for his bank.
“We have had the 5-Star rating for 96 quarters, so added-up that makes 24 years running,” he said.
By Sarah Carmichael
Bastrop Daily Enterprise - Bastrop, LA
By Sarah Carmichael
Updated Jan. 8, 2013 @ 4:56 pm
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