BY VEENA RAO
United Central Bank, a Texas based community bank opened its full service facility at the Global Mall off Jimmy Carter Boulevard in Norcross on October 3rd. The bank first expanded its services into Georgia over three years ago with a branch in Duluth. Over 200 people, including Norcross Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Allen, Georgia State Senator Curt Thompson (D-5) and the top management brass of the bank attended the grand opening ceremony at the Ashiana Banquet Hall.
UC Bank president & CEO Keith Ward said the bank would work hard towards exceeding customer expectations in Georgia. “We cater to a diverse customer base. We speak 25 different languages in the bank,” he said.
Ward said he was confident that the economic downturn would be resolved soon and the future would be bright for the economy and for the bank.
Speaking to this reporter, UC Bank founder and chairman of the board James D. Yoo said the bank’s philosophy was simple and fundamental. “We have a $100 million portfolio even as we open our doors,” he said. “Our philosophy is to get to know the market, build a network and build business. We finance more hotels and gas stations than any other bank. We get repeat Indian and Pakistani business.”
Yoo said the UC Bank was truly a community bank that caters to the Asian communities. “We are not an Indian, Pakistani, Korean or Chinese bank. We cater to all the Asian communities.”
He said the economic downturn did not worry him. “The recession has nothing to do with us. Our customers need money. Small communities need small community banks to support them.”
“Our bank offers all the high-tech facilities of larger banks, plus the advantages of language, culture, relationship and personal service,” he added.
Kaushik (Keith) Patel, VP and Regional Manager, Georgia, said the location at the Global Mall is suitable for a multi-cultural, diversified bank. “Different communities use the Global Mall. It is easily accessible from Buford Highway and I-85. Also, Jimmy Carter Boulevard is a very busy area.”
He said, apart from the Indian and Pakistani communities that visit the mall, the Chinese and Koreans do business and shop in the area. An example, he said, is the newly opened Hong Kong mall, a Chinese supermarket at Jimmy Carter.
“If the communities unite, he added, they will prosper.”
At the grand opening, Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Allen extended the bank and its staff his welcome to the city of Norcross. Georgia State Senator Curt Thompson (D-5) read out a proclamation on behalf of the Georgia Senate and Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel honoring James D. Yoo with honorary citizenship of Georgia.