Best of Colorado Business Choice 2016 finance winners
ColoradoBiz readers' top picks for banking, lending, insurance and mortgages
Bellco won "Best Credit Union"
Here are the Best of Colorado Business Choice winners and finalists in the finance category.
FirstBank of Colorado
Customers like FirstBank because they get the technology and capabilities of a large bank and the superior customer service of a local bank. For example, says chief operating officer Jim Reuter, FirstBank uses local small business owners in ads, the loan officers are the decision makers, and people who call the customer service number are instructed to press zero to talk to someone as the first option. People do indeed want to talk to the customer service staff. “One of the best compliments I ever got about the call center was someone asked how much vacation time we give them because they always seem to be in a good mood,” he says. “We take care of them.”
Runners-up: Alpine Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Chase Bank
BEST CREDIT UNION
Bellco Credit Union
With more than 250,000 members and over $3 billion in assets, Bellco is Denver’s largest credit union. The not-for-profit has 22 locations in the state and offers services including mortgages, auto loans and checking accounts, and online and mobile banking. In addition to giving back to the communities it serves, Bellco shares resources with other credit unions so members can take advantage of thousands of shared-branch locations and more than 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs. Bellco is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
Runners-up: Public Service Credit Union, Elevations Credit Union, Ent Credit Union
BEST INSURANCE BROKERAGE
The company that was long known as State Farm Insurance rebranded a few years ago and is now State Farm. It offers insurance products, financial services and has a bank. Customers appreciate the level of customer service State Farm offers. “We feel this recognition reinforces what we do every day, which is to focus on the needs of our customers while also being active members of the community,” says Angela Thorpe, spokesperson for the region. “Whether our customers just want to talk, or have questions about the insurance products and financial services we offer, we’re available.”
Runners-up: Madison Insurance Group, Allstate, Farmers Insurance Group
BEST MORTGAGE BROKER
Alpine Bank offers in-house loan underwriting that provides its customers with a lending decision within 24 hours of receiving a completed package.
The employee-owned company, based in Glenwood Springs, has 38 locations throughout Colorado, including the bank’s first Front Range branches in Denver’s Union Station and Cherry Creek North neighborhoods. Employee-owned Alpine serves more than 130,000 customers with retail, business, wealth management, mortgage and electronic banking services.
Alpine Bank prides itself on its ability to be flexible in creating solutions for customers that don’t fit the typical corporate banking approach, an opportunity afforded to Alpine because it is not a national bank.
Runners-up: Peoples Bank, 8Z Mortgage, SWBC Mortgage
BEST SBA LENDER
Peoples Bank provides U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans of up to $5.5 million for transactions ranging from heavy equipment to commercial real estate and business expansion.
The Colorado Springs-based bank offers longer repayment terms than conventional bank loans and offers expertise in helping small businesses prosper.
Runners-up: Alpine Bank, Colorado Lending Source LTD, Wells Fargo Bank
BEST TITLE COMPANY
Land Title Guarantee Co.
For nearly 50 years, Land Title Guarantee Co. has helped residential and commercial real estate investors with title insurance and closings. From its Cherry Creek headquarters and more than 45 offices across Colorado, Land Title serves the entire state, completing more than 40,000 closings each year. Since its inception, Land Title has been a technological innovator, creating a computer system during its first year that could generate 32 title searches in less than three minutes. More recently, the company has introduced LTGConnect to keep connected to its clients.
Runners-up: Guardian Title Agency LLC, First American Title, Stewart Title
BEST WEALTH MANAGER/FINANCIAL PLANNER
Employee-owned Alpine Bank will spend as much time as needed to develop investment strategies to meet its customers’ needs. The bank, established in 1973, can help with IRAs, employee benefit plans and deferred retirement annuities, as well as trusts and estate settlement services. Alpine also provides income management, bill paying assistance with tax preparation and collection of all income, including Social Security, pensions and mineral rights. In addition to wealth management and financial planning services, Alpine Bank provides more than 130,000 customers with retail, business, mortgage and electronic banking services. The bank has 38 locations, including its recently added branches in Denver’s Union Station and Cherry Creek North neighborhoods.
Runners-up: Peoples Bank, Brown & Tedstrom, Edward Jones