Cass' national church lending program, started in 1999, made the California acquisition possible. The Southern California area represented a strong market for Cass with church loan customers. With a physical presence in the region, Cass now has the opportunity to cross-sell deposits and other commercial banking services to this customer base.
From a strategic perspective, the national church lending program together with an emerging California presence, provided Cass with geographical diversification and reduced the risk of having its banking financial fortunes tied exclusively to the health of one local or regional economy. At the same time, Cass has long believed that the best way to manage all types of risk - geographical economy risk, credit risk, interest rate risk and various operational risks - is to stay narrowly focused on those customer segments in which Cass has demonstrated expertise.
Cass Commercial Bank celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006 with a very strong year and $522 million in average loan balances.
The Bank's core objectives remain unchanged. We are committed to providing a relationship form of banking to our customers. We want to know our customers well in order to better serve them. We will continue to focus on two primary niches - privately-held businesses, and churches and related ministries.
In 2006, the Bank introduced Cass Deposit Connection which allows customers to convert the checks that they receive to electronic images which are sent electronically to the bank for clearing. The Bank also upgraded its primary account systems to a new and better platform, and enhanced its image processing services. As technology continues to offer new advances in the way banking is conducted and information is exchanged, Cass is committed to staying on the leading edge and offer products and services which best meet the needs of its customer base.