Located at the gateway to the City’s Education Corridor the new BB&T is both architecturally appealing and provides a level of customer service that Margate residents find refreshing. Now open two months, the bank prides itself on the "perfect client experience."
“The people are friendly and the service is great. There’s never a long wait,” said BB&T customer, Curt Wallenberg. “My whole family banks here,” he told MargateNews.net.
With a stunning red brick facade and grand glass vestibule the new BB&T (Branch Banking & Trust) on the northeast corner of State Road 7 and Coconut Creek Parkway has made a fresh architectural statement in Margate. It’s the first branch the company has built from the ground up, said bank officials, and represents an investment of more than $1 million in Margate.
“This is big for us. An opportunity to serve a new community,” said BB&T Regional President, Tony Coley, a former University of Miami linebacker who played alongside Ray Lewis and Warren Sapp in college. “It’s a good market and great location.” (Left: Coley and BB&T's Danny Morales [center] get warm welcome from customer)
North Carolina-based BB&T has been around for 144 years and unlike competitors “has always been BB&T,” said BB&T Market President for Broward County, Jason Aube. The bank came to Florida in 2003 when it acquired Republic Bank and since has fueled its growth with the acquisition of Colonial Bank in 2010 and Bank Atlantic in 2012. It’s now one of the largest financial services holding companies in the U.S. with $184.7 billion in assets and market capitalization of $28.9 billion.
“We’ve gone from virtually no branches in Florida 15 years ago, to five in Broward County and now 40-plus in Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties,” Aube said at the bank’s recent grand opening celebration.
Customers attending the party said they like BB&T because it promotes the friendly rapport and community service banks were once known for.
“I don’t come into the bank that often, but when I do they know my name,” said Dennis Boxer.
Having just refinanced his mortgage from 7% down to 3.5%, Margate resident, Anthony Caggiano, is impressed with the bank.
“They worked with us, they walked us through it. The staff is amazing,” said Caggiano, adding that the new bank might be one of the best looking buildings in the City.
Branch Manager and Market Leader, Danny Morales, coined the bank’s approach to customer service as the “perfect client experience,” where associates assist customers with financial solutions in lieu of pushing banking products.
“We truly believe that we are the place people need to come to get the solutions they are looking for,” said Morales, who came to the new location from the Palm Lakes branch in Margate.
The majority of BB&T staff (left) are long-tenured in the banking industry, said Morales, and possess a depth of financial knowledge.
“It’s a wonderful institution. They value their associates, they value their clients and they promote growth and progression,” said Camille, a 10-year Margate resident that has worked 15 years for BB&T.
The grand opening celebration included mouthwatering hors d'oeuvres, a soothing jazz violinist and a lively caricature artist who brought out the best in people. On behalf of the City of Margate, Mayor Tommy Ruzzano presented BB&T executives and staff with a certificate of recognition.
“I have two accounts here. It’s really nice when people know your name and you’re not treated like a number,” said the Mayor when thanking BB&T for choosing Margate.
Also welcoming BB&T to Margate were Police Chief, Dana Watson, and city commission candidates Eddie DeCristofaro and Anthony Caggiano.
(Below: Margate Mayor Tommy Ruzzano stands with BB&T Margate Leader, Danny Morales [center] along with BB&T staff)