Great Western Bank makes debut

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After a busy weekend changing signage and logos, First Community Bank opened yesterday as Great Western Bank.

Although the acquisition has strengthened the bank’s position, there was a lot of behind-the-scenes work to make the transition.

After closing Friday as First Community, employees and bankers at the downtown branch at 121 S. Tejon St. spent the weekend lugging 30 boxes of Great Western paraphernalia and 20 boxes of computer equipment, and removing the old.

“I think we’ve got logos on everything,” said Doug Woods, group president for Great Western. “We’re purging and boxing up all our First Community stuff and converting our computer systems.”

Coffee cups, crayons, piggy banks – everything had to go. Not to mention notepads, business cards, golf balls and thank-you cards.

“We started ordering supplies after we got regulatory approval in May,” Woods said.

But the “bleary-eyed bankers” were happy to make the switch.

Great Western is a wholly owned subsidiary of National Australia Bank Limited, which is one of only 11 AA-rated banks in the world, he said.

“There are no American banks in the top 20,” Woods said. “We are well-capitalized – one America’s safest banks. And we’ll be back in the loan business.”

Since finalizing its acquisition of 19 branches of First Community Bank, Great Western now has 22 locations in Colorado, including the Springs, Canon City, Boulder, Fort Collins, Lafayette, Broomfield, Denver, Erie, Greeley, Lakewood, Longmont and Louisville.