From 1994 through 1997, First Commerce's profitability from its commercial business doubled. While the bank grew profits at more than 18 percent per year, our immediate competition could only manage 12 percent profit growth, and our national competitors could only sustain seven to eight percent growth.
First Commerce pulled ahead of the competition by abandoning a traditional product-driven approach, electing to implement a real relationship strategy. While many banks talk about relationships with their commercial customers, most fall back on volume as the determinant of their success. Conversely, First Commerce embraces a true relationship approach, with customer retention and share of wallet as measures of our success.