Since being founded in Lynden, Washington in 1921, Peoples Bank has grown to 23 branches across the state and $2.6 billion in assets. In Skagit County, its customer-oriented presence began in 1998 with a trailer located in a parking lot. Today, the community bank has four Skagit locations with a fifth branch, in Sedro-Woolley, expected to open in 2024.
Recently, Peoples Bank received several honors reflecting its role in the economic well-being of the Skagit Valley. The bank was voted by community members as the “Best Bank” and “Best Mortgage Lender” in Skagit Publishing’s 2022 “Best of the Best” awards. Peoples Bank also received the prestigious 2022 Business of the Year award from the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce earlier this year.
Bank in Skagit Builds on Relationships
Jennifer Covey, retail district branch manager of Peoples Bank’s Mount Vernon Financial Center says getting to know community members and local businesses is the best part of being a community banker.
“Being a community banker in Skagit County is more than just a job to me, it’s a passion,” she says. “Providing lending opportunities where our customers live and work is so important because those funds are then reinvested back into the community we serve. Our employees are deeply connected to the community as well, with many of us raising our families here. This personal investment in the community is what motivates us to go the extra mile in providing the best service and support to our customers.”
Whether it’s commercial lenders who have expertise in agriculture or maritime industries or who support small businesses looking to grow, Peoples Bank strives to build relationships that provide a continuity of service with a truly personal touch.
Covey has worked at Peoples Bank for 21 years and says she’s opened bank accounts for young adults whose parents have banked with her for years, and who she’s watched grow up.
In addition to the Mount Vernon Financial Center, which handles commercial and retail banking, home loans, treasury management, and investments, Peoples Bank has a location inside the Mount Vernon Haggen store and full-service branches in Burlington and Anacortes.
Peoples Bank Gives Back
Peoples Bank also forges community ties through its sponsorship of popular community events. These include serving as sponsors for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival’s annual kickoff gala, Burlington’s Berry Dairy Days event, as well as Anacortes’ Bier on the Pier, and the Festival of Trees holiday fundraiser.
Numerous Peoples Bank employees also support various nonprofit organizations, including the Lincoln Theatre, United Way of Skagit County, Anacortes Family Center, Camp Korey, and Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services (DVSAS).
Peoples Bank also awards annual Impact Grants towards specific nonprofit community projects. Last year, two Skagit-area nonprofits – Anacortes Family Center and Camp Korey – were Impact Grant recipients.
“We make it a priority to support organizations across Skagit County,” Covey says. “It’s just another way we can give back.”
Why Bank Local?
Mike O’Dwyer, who owns and operates the Mount Vernon Grocery Outlet store with his wife Sou Nay, has a long association with Peoples Bank.
His sister-in-law worked at the bank decades ago, and the O’Dwyers were Peoples Bank customers when they lived in Bellingham 25 years ago. Since moving to Skagit County from California five years ago, the couple has used the bank to finance home loans, conduct business-related transactions, and even open a certificate of deposit (CD) for their new grandchild.
Peoples Bank, Mike says, was the only bank he and Sou Nay considered doing business with. “Whenever we have questions, our emails or phone calls are responded to promptly,” he adds. “They’re easy to talk to and get a hold of. They understand our business and they value our time.”
O’Dwyer says the bank even reached out during the COVID-19 pandemic to check on how the business was doing.
“We’re in a service-oriented industry,” O’Dwyer says. “We know how we like our customers to feel and be treated, and our bankers at Peoples Bank operate in the same way.”
To learn more about Peoples Bank’s services in Skagit County, please visit the Peoples Bank website or visit one of its four branches in Skagit County.