Valley National Bank in Pasaic, N.J., has tripled in size since 1984. Its return on assets has exceeded 1% since that time and is at 1.81% for the first quarter of 1993. Similarly, return on equity has never sunk below 15% and reached 25% in the first quarter. I asked Gerald H. Lipkin Lipkin, Valley's CEO, "How do you do it?"

"By being a super community bank," replied Gerry, "and paying attention to the farm." Gerry's philosophy is simple. At Valley National Bank, the president still signs all checks every day.

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