FLNB opens fifth location in China

First Liberty National Bank's new branch in China is a 2,788-square foot structure built by Pelco Builders, LLC, of Liberty.

First Liberty National Bank, which has served Liberty and the surrounding communities since 1913, has added a fifth location to better serve its growing number of customers. On Wednesday, FLNB officially opened a new bank in China, located on the south side of US 90 about 13 miles west of Beaumont.

On Tuesday, FLNB’s board of directors took a final walk-through of the 2,788-square foot structure constructed by Liberty-based Pelco Builders, LLC, and were formally introduced to the employees who will be running the branch.

Whitney Weatherford, who helped FLNB bring the Huffman location online recently, will be the branch manager. Brandy Bertman will be the bank’s universal teller while Stephanie Stokes will oversee security of the China bank and FLNB’s four other locations. Chelsea Freeman, who is joining FLNB on Nov. 4, will be the assistant branch manager.

FLNB Bank President Kelly D. Stretcher (in white shirt) introduces the leadership of the China branch to FLNB’s board of directors on Tuesday.

The new branch is equipped with the latest and greatest technology and security features, said FLNB President Kelly D. Stretcher.

Instead of the traditional teller windows equipped with cash drawers, automated teller machines that connect to a service center in Liberty will handle most money transactions.

“This is a real security feature and it’s a deterrent for thieves,” he said.

The bank also features a community room where local civic groups or individuals can hold meetings upon request.

The drive-through lanes will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Lobby hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Saturday.

“Being open on a Saturday is not real typical. Customers will be able to come in here on a Saturday and talk to someone about opening an account or starting a mortgage or car loan,” Stretcher said. “We are going to be open.”

He hinted that the hours of the China location may be extended in the future if warranted. Stretcher credited his executive assistant, Keri Elliott, for being the mastermind behind the building’s aesthetics.

“She wanted me to be sure to tell everyone that she is not finished. There will be some accent items added. We are still in the process,” he said.

Elliott also oversaw the Beaumont-area marketing for the China branch, working with a production team on commercials that will air on Fox News, KBMT and KFDM.

“We are going to host several different private events where we invite local businesses, realtors and our neighbors behind us to introduce them to our bank and our technology. That way, it will be something they are aware of when they come in,” Elliott said.

FLNB’s main headquarters is at 1900 Sam Houston Ave., Liberty. Branches are in Dayton, Huffman, Hardin, and now China. For more information on FLNB, go online to www.flnb.com.

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