The way major financial institutions are feasting on taxpayer-backed bailouts, you’d think every bank in this country has on the feed bag.
Just north of Chicago, dwelling in the People’s Republic of Evanston, is First Bank & Trust — a 13-year-old community lender that doesn’t want any part of the U.S. government’s $700 billion bank bailout or, for that matter, any subsequent rescue plans.
You see, First Bank & Trust won’t do business that way.
Says Robert R. Yohanan, CEO and one of the bank’s founders: “We don’t need the money. More important, we don’t want the government as a partner.”
That refreshing approach makes First Bank & Trust a rarity in these dismal economic days.
First, it’s a healthy institution that hasn’t forsaken one of the main skills of successful banking: managing risk. For example a few years ago, First Bank & Trust shrewdly determined the home mortgage market was spinning out of control and greatly limited making real estate investments thus avoiding big trouble.Secondly, this bank isn’t looking to game the system by profiting from the government-backed bailout.