Originally called First State Bank of Morton, City Bank was founded by five men with a vision in a small West Texas town on August 2, 1941. The bank was initially capitalized with $129,335.48, and despite having an armed robbery and a major fire to contend with, grew its deposits to over two million dollars in the subsequent five years. In May of 1957, after 10 more years of steady growth, the bank relocated to where our Morton Branch now proudly resides.
A group of local businessmen and farmers, including D. E. (Gene) Benham and our current Chairman's father, J. K. Griffith, purchased the bank from its founders on August 28, 1962. In 1988, the first branch was opened in Whiteface and in 1991 we acquired South Plains National Bank in Levelland. The acquisition of City Bank in Lubbock in October of 1993 gave us our current name and an opportunity to reach a much larger market. By the end of 1994, our family of banks, including Morton, Whiteface, Levelland and Lubbock, had total assets of $200 million.
Through the visionary leadership of men such as Curtis Griffith, Chairman of the Board since1984, Mike Liner, President/CEO from 1990 to 2007, and our current President/CEO, Cory Newsom, City Bank has experienced phenomenal growth. As of November 2011, City Bank has over two billion dollars in assets with 530 employees working in 35 locations across Texas. We proudly remain locally owned and operated. Our Employee Stock Ownership Plan is now our largest shareholder. Including the ESOP, nearly sixty-four percent of our stock is owned by the people who work here.
We began with a focus on West Texas agriculture that remains vitally important today. But City Bank has now expanded to the border community, with two branches in El Paso, College Station in East Central Texas, a cosmopolitan customer base in Plano, along with the growing suburbs east of Dallas (where our Forney branch is located), and the growing Asian community across Texas. With three branches in the Dallas area and one in Houston serving a diverse cultural segment, City Bank employees in these four branches collectively speak nine different languages to better serve their customers. No matter what our customer base happens to be, our focus is always to deliver the same service excellence to every customer and our vision is to be the bank of choice in every community we serve.
Our commitment to offering our customers revolutionary products and services has significantly contributed to our growth. We continually strive to stay in touch with our customers' needs and develop products and services that are responsive to those needs. Through this commitment, City Bank has added services including mortgage lending, trust, insurance, investments, indirect lending and private banking. We always remain open to new ideas and new opportunities and have added mortgage-lending offices in Abilene, Beaumont, College Station, Killeen,El Paso, Forney, Houston, and Temple to our City Bank family.
City Bank was founded on the principle that happy and loyal employees create happy and loyal customers. Understanding what customers need and maximizing those relationships is the goal of every City Bank employee. Our philosophy of respecting and taking care of our employees is why we are able to hire and keep the best bankers anywhere. We are certain they are second to none.
One of our proudest distinctions is having City Bank ranked as one of the Best Companies to Work for in Texas since 2006, #16, #2 and #3 respectively, by Texas Association of Business, The Texas State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management and the publishers of Texas Monthly. In 2008 City Bank was also ranked number 23 of the Top 50 Small and Medium Companies to work for in America. We give complete credit for these accomplishments to our valued employees that make up our City Bank family.
Our Employee Mission Statement, developed by and for the employees, shows the passion for service that comes from every one of us at City Bank:
Our Mission is to build long lasting relationships by delivering extraordinary financial solutions through unrivaled customer service…one customer at a time