Officials say bank transition smooth

By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers

Access Bank is now officially the First Community Bank and banking officials said customers will notice the transition, but they’re confidentcustomers will only experience minor inconveniences.
Linda Wedeen, senior vice president of First Community Bank, said the Access Banks in Portales and Clovis officially became First Community Banks in January.

“It’s still going to be banking as usual for us,” Wedeen said. “We are trying to make the transition as smooth as possible for our customers. We are very excited about our presence in southern and eastern New Mexico.”

Weeden said acquisition of banks in Las Cruces, Clovis and Portales is First Community Banks first venture into the eastern part of the state.

The Access Banks of Portales and Clovis were acquired by First State Bancorporation during the summer, according to bank officials.

A company official said customers should not expect any major changes in service, but employees in the accounting department may lose their jobs.

“We are making every effort to accommodate any employees who will be affected negatively,” said Mike Stanford, the bank’s chief executive officer. “We plan to move them to other positions if necessary.”

Weeden said there will be a conversion in the computer systems. She said eventually there may have to be changes in account numbers for customers. There will also be new checkbooks with the First Community Bank name on them.

Terry Blaschke, market president for the Clovis and Portales branches, said they are finding a minimal number of duplicate account numbers in the research process, which is ongoing.

Blaschke said there are approximately 45 full-time employees in the Clovis First Community Bank and 10 employees in the Portales Access Bank.