It’s a busy spring for Bank of Travelers Rest as they celebrate 70 years serving the Upstate while simultaneously opening their tenth branch.
“Our first branch opened March 18, 1946, in Travelers Rest,” said vice president and marketing director Eric Wall. “Our new branch opened March 18, 2016.”
Now with two Travelers Rest Locations, one in Greer, one branch in Marietta and six in Greenville, the business has taken a conservative approach to growth that fits the philosophy of the bank, which is based on personal relationships and retaining that laid-back, small-town feel that is hard to come by these days.
“Even our branches in downtown Greenville have that personal banking feel,” Wall said. “Even as we’re growing, we still make sure our employees and our customers are very connected.”
The bank was founded by John White along with several others who saw the need to provide financial services to the people of Northern Greenville County. Opening with just over $36,000 in assets, the bank was already innovating in the 1940s to make life easier for customers: it is the first bank in Greenville County to offer Saturday banking.
Bank of Travelers Rest has always been the first to adopt the latest technology, though they never allowed it to diminish the personal service the bank is known for. All customer accounts moved to a computer system in 1968, the same year John White’s son Bruce joined the team.
Today, the bank offers all of the same services you’d find at a regional or national bank – mobile banking, ATMs, online bill pay – but with the Bank of Travelers Rest touch. “No matter how much my generation is technology-based, it’s still nice to call and have a person answer – usually a person with a Travelers Rest accent,” he said.
The bank is now run by Bruce White, who continues his father’s commitment to customer convenience, innovation and small-town customer service. He also emphasizes the family-owned nature of the bank – even more evident since Bruce’s children Betsy Steifle, Kelley Moss and Bob White all work for the bank as well, bringing the family bank to the third generation. Betsy and Bob are relationship bankers, and Kelley is a corporate trainer.
“They are very committed to family,” Wall said. “Not just their family, but all of our families as well.”
While many banks have been gobbled up by large corporate players, the leadership at the Bank of Travelers Rest have managed to keep the same name and the same ownership for seven decades and have stayed headquartered in Greenville County – the oldest bank still headquartered here.
“We’re committed to the community we serve,” Wall said. The leadership team has enjoyed watching Greenville and Travelers Rest grow and progress, and the bank enjoys being a part of that while maintaining its core values.
To support the community, the bank and its employees have been committed to a variety of causes, including the relay for Life in Travelers Rest, the Greenville Technical College Northwest Campus Public Education Partners. Because of its Marietta branch, the bank has gotten involved with the Foothills Resources Center there, which offers clothing and emergency food for people in need.
Bruce White grew up in Greenville and graduated from Clemson University before joining the bank in 1968. A proud local, he gives back personally by serving on the board of directors of organizations such as the Greenville Area Development Corporation and the South Carolina Bankers School Board. As an alumni who also sent two of his three children to Clemson (Kelley attended Furman), White is also a staunch Tigers fan and supporter.
42 Plaza Dr., Travelers Rest (Main O ce) 864.834.9031 Bankoftravelersrest.com