Kish Bank Celebrates 100 Years
July 01, 2012 8:05 AM
by Marjorie Miller
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The capacity to maintain long-term focus over the past 100 years is one of the factors that have helped Kish Bank both sustain itself and grow.

This year marks a milestone for Kish as it celebrates the 100th anniversary of the bank’s national charter. Today, as it has in years past, the bank directs its focus on preservation, evolution and growth.

With 13 banking offices and financial centers in Centre, Mifflin and Huntingdon counties, Kish Bank has a growing presence in Central Pennsylvania. In fact, one of its goals is to be a growing part of, and expand its presence, in Centre County.

Kish Bank has Centre County branches on Park Place in Bellefonte, South Atherton Street in State College and an ATM location on College Avenue.

A time to reflect

The bank’s charter was issued in 1912, but roots of the bank date back to the 1900s, said William Hayes, bank chairman, president and CEO.

Hayes said Kish Bank’s 100th anniversary is a time to reflect on what has created value, and what has elevated, Kish Bank as a company.

The last 100 years have been a “pretty challenging time” for both banking and the country as a whole, Hayes said, but the bank’s capacity to maintain long-term focus, and its spotlight on the customer and the community, have helped sustain it.

Hayes said although Kish, at its core, is a bank, it’s also a diversified financial services company, which allows it to “never lose focus on customers.”

Listening to customers has remained a priority for the bank, Hayes said.

“(We’re) always adjusting to their changing needs and re-defining ourselves,” he said.

Other Kish services include Kish Insurance, Kish Financial Solutions and Kish Travel, Hayes said.

Since Kish Bank came to Centre County about seven years ago, it has “grown rapidly,” Hayes said, in what he describes as a “tough, competitive” market. Its building on Green Tech Drive, which is both a branch and financial center, is only about three years old, he said.

Intention to survive and thrive

Electronic banking and channels of customer accessibility is evolving for Kish Bank, Hayes said, so “that is a major focus.”

More customers are choosing alternative means of banking, he said, such as online banking which allows them to access their accounts 24 hours a day, including during travel and other times they may not be able to come to a banking center.

“We want to be there in the ways they can access us,” Hayes said.

Additionally, transactional centers are becoming more electronic in nature, he said, and the future of the bank branch, itself, revolves around a virtual banking platform.

Kish Bank’s plans to continue to grow include managing and growing its other business units, and still targeting its long-term focus, which is defined by customers, Hayes said.

“Whenever you sit still in this world you’re growing backwards,” he said.

Internally, Hayes said, the bank plans to grow to $1 billion.

Plans for growth also include a more complex management structure.

At the 100-year mark, it is appropriate for Kish to reaffirm its commitment to being a community bank, he said.

“It is a time to reflect,” Hayes said. “Is this model sustainable?”

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