Bank First’s hometown staff serves community
By Mary Matsumoto

When it comes to Bank First in Kiel, its success stems from its close attachment to the community and an eagerness to provide what local people need.

“It’s a local community bank,” said Michelle Rabe, vice president/branch manager. And of the staff at Bank First, she added, “We all live in this area. In fact, we’ve lived here all our lives.”

That being the case, it is natural that the staff understands the needs of its clients. After all, they are branch manager; tellers Mary Jo Meyer, Terese Geiser, Jean Dedering, Kim Sebo, and Patricia Jaeckels; Steven Walber, special asset group; Kevin Moehring, administrative assistant; and Darla Maratik, part-time teller.

“We have a close relationship with thetheir neighbors and friends.

An added benefit of being a customer of Bank First is that decisions are made locally, not at some distant location. Local decisions also mean quick decisions, which helps make the financial lives of the customer easier.

Additionally, the deposit-to-loan ratio demonstrates that the bank invests its assets right back into the community. Local deposits are available for local loans, which creates a balance in the lending structure.

Great time to buy a home

Their full service department provides a wide array of loans and loan services from real estate and home equity to commercial and agricultural and more. Many have found the present time ideal to shop for a home with mortgage rates at an all-time low.

“We do not sell the servicing of our mortgages,” Rabe said. “Your relationship with Bank First is for the life of your loan. You can come to us with any question you have.”

For customer convenience, the Bank has made available mortgage information through the Loan Center on their Web site. Once there, clients can utilize tools such as loan calculators and even begin the mortgage application process by applying online. Often times, this makes the process much easier given the time constraints most people are under.

Bank First offers a wide variety of bank products and services because every person’s needs are different. They strive to offer a broad suite of financial products as well as customize solutions on a case-by-case basis.

Access to mobile banking

Bank First is also a co-owner of a data processing subsidiary, United Financial Services, Inc., which provides data services to nearly 40 Wisconsin banks. This relationship helps to create leading access to today’s top technologies in the financial world, such as mobile banking.

When it comes to convenience, customers appreciate the internet banking system. With this arrangement, banking can be done from home or office at any time of the day or night through a secure server. Customers can review account balances and transactions in real time, transfer funds, and view and print e-statements or check copies.

The bank also provides the option of paying bills over the internet, providing a list of choices. A customer can schedule automatic payment by due dates or select when to make the payment. They can set up reminders so as not to be late with a payment. Or, with payments that remain the same each month, like mortgage or car payments, they can set up recurring payments. In fact, banking can also be done via mobile device on the go, like checking balances, viewing transactions and transferring funds.

Another unique service is the UChoose Rewards program, which provides points customers can earn and lets them choose how to use them. Choices range from products, travel experiences and activities, event tickets, merchant gift cards, cash and more.

Meeting their mission

Their mission statement says it all: “We are a relationship-based community bank focused on providing innovative products and services that are value driven.”

Bank First National was founded in 1894 and has grown to include 12 office locations, including the branch in Kiel, which opened in 1994.

Most of the employees in the Kiel branch have made banking their career and their experience totals well over 200 years in the industry. The staff includes Michelle Rabe, vice president/branch manager; Bonnie Overland, assistant