The newest First National Bank location opened on Camellia Boulevard in Lafayette in July 2020.
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There’s no doubt that banking has changed over the years. But one thing that has remained constant is the desire of customers to receive fast, high-quality service without a lot of hassle.
Meeting that need is a main reason why The First National Bank has remained one of Acadiana’s strongest financial institutions since 1905. With eight locations, including its newest one in Lafayette, First National has adapted to new ways of doing business while keeping its core principles intact.
“We think the majority of our success comes from the personal service our customers receive,” said Damon Migues, CEO and President of The First National Bank. “I call it the working people’s bank. We are here to serve people. Our employees come to work each day with the main focus of helping everyone. We pride ourselves on our customer service and our willingness to go above and beyond.”
The original First National location opened on Main Street in Jeanerette on June 3, 1905. Today, the bank’s main office is still in that building, which has been expanded through the years. The main location is now 12,000 square feet with a drive-thru option. There is now a second drive-thru location in Jeanerette, as well as full service offices in New Iberia, Franklin, Baldwin, Loreauville, Morgan City and Lafayette.
First National Bank began in Jeanerette in 1905. It maintains a strong presence there and throughout Acadiana.Provided photograph
Migues said one common misconception is that small, community banks such as First National do not have the ability to offer the same type of banking services as larger institutions. However, that is not the case. For example, First National offers checking, savings and loan options for both personal and business customers, as well as agriculture loans. There are also options for online banking and bill pay, mobile banking and bill pay, commercial check deposit for businesses, free ATM usage, fraud protection, payroll services for businesses and more. First National is also able to offer home, auto, personal and business loans.
The employees are led by bank officers who have a combined 375 years of financial experience, which allows them to offer solutions that go above and beyond the norm.
First National Bank began in Jeanerette in 1905 and remains a strong presence there and throughout Acadiana.Provided picture
Once a customer is established, Migues said many are gravitating to First National’s mobile app to handle their transactions. He estimated that about 80 to 85 percent of First National’s online transactions are now done through the app.
“The mobile app is one of the things we are most proud of,” he said. “A lot of younger people are more technology savvy, but I’ve noticed many of our older customers will do online banking as well. We really strived to create an app that is easy for anybody to use.”
But there are still people who prefer to do business in person, which First National welcomes. Last July, it opened its first Lafayette location on Camellia Boulevard after bank officials noted more Lafayette Parish customers choosing to do business with them.
First National Bank has adapted to new ways of banking by embracing technology while still maintaining strong customer service.Provided photo
“Probably a quarter of our entire portfolio and loan base is in Lafayette Parish,” Migues said. “It can be a little harder to do business on the deposit side from such a distance. We saw our customers enjoyed the relationships we had with them, and since we had a growing presence in Lafayette, we wanted to add that in-person option for them that is closer to their home or business.”
The bank is in the same building as a new PJ’s Coffee, and Migues said it isn’t unusual to find customers enjoying a coffee while they conduct business.
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“Adding Lafayette was a great move for us,” Migues said. “We were not able to do the grand opening we had hoped for last year, but we are hoping to be able to have some kind of event for the one-year anniversary.”
When it comes to commercial customers, Migues said First National employees will often visit the businesses to provide assistance.
“We really enjoy building those relationships,” he said. “Since the commercial customers cannot always come into the bank, we encourage our employees to go to them if there is a need.”