Community banks are known for providing personal attention that resonates with customers. That level of “touch and service” is keenly important to Christopher Turner, president and chief financial officer of The First State Bank in Oklahoma City.
Enhancing awareness of the missions and challenges of community banks is one objective that Turner brings to the Fed’s Oklahoma City Branch Board of Directors.
“Clearly I want to bring a sense of the true dynamics of running a community bank,” Turner said. “I talk to a lot of people who don’t realize that a community bank has all of the same moving parts as a large institutional bank; we’re just smaller. We have all of the same compliance conditions, all of the same regulatory requirements. I want to bring awareness of that challenge.”
Turner joined the board this year, but he gained hands-on exposure to the nation’s central bank through service on the Kansas City Fed’s Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council.
At his bank, Turner oversees all operational, regulatory and financial business other than lending. The lending side of the bank is directed by Turner’s business partner, David Durrett, who is chairman and chief executive officer.
“We are a traditional community commercial bank,” Turner said. “We’re more about touch and service and feel than we are about rate sensitivity and getting volume and getting numbers of people. We want to know every single client we do business with.”
Turner is a native Oklahoman whose career in banking includes 24 years with Local Oklahoma Bank before its acquisition by International Bank of Commerce Bank (IBC Bank) in 2004. After retiring from IBC Bank in 2007, Turner and two partners acquired The First State Bank.
Turner said that he is excited about sharing his insight as a veteran banking executive. Also, as a minority person in banking leadership, he hopes “to demonstrate to others that anyone can aspire to do this.”
“I hope to bring back information that helps my bank better understand the dynamics of the Fed … how it impacts us as an institution, how it impacts our customers,” he said. “Not just looking at the Fed as a regulatory entity, but looking at it more as a partner in this banking environment, where we all ultimately want the same thing— which is to provide the highest-quality and best service that we can.”
Learn more about Mr. Turner here.