When the most valued customers of Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., visit their branch, they do not have to stand in line; they just call ahead, and a teller is waiting to serve them when they arrive.

Riverside, with $1.1 billion of assets, began offering the service last year to let its best customers - about 10% of its account holders - know they are appreciated. The extra attention to these customers is a chief reason why deposits grew 20% last year, compared to an average of 12% in previous years, according to senior vice president Robert McGuffin.

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