After a year and a half as senior vice president and senior relationship manager at Bank of America, Paul Mondragón feels the need to always try and do more.
Bank of America was second in Business First’s Largest Banks List behind Wells Fargo. The rankings were determined by the volume of local deposits, in which Bank of America had $3.84 billion in 2016. Mondragón sat down with Business First to give an update on his bank’s performance, along with strategies on how Albuquerque and New Mexico can grow.
What is the status of your bank’s performance?
I can say Bank of America is very strong through all of the compliance tests we have to go through with the FDIC The capital tests we have to go through, we are above where we need to be. So we are very strongly capitalized. We are a different organization than we were coming out of the financial crises. Exceptionally strong balance sheet right now. I think we have like half a trillion in cash.
A year and a half or so on the job, what have you learned about the job, about yourself that you didn’t know before?
There’s always room to do a little more, and there’s always more asked. Whether it’s internally, working with the teams or it’s external, getting out and meeting people in the community. There’s a real need in the community for not just banks, but other companies to step in and step up and help our community. If you look at the nonprofits, there’s always a need for housing. Specifically, homelessness and housing. We’ll rally volunteers to go and help out. We also send dollars there.
What’s your strategy for inching closer to Wells Fargo in terms of local deposits?
It’s about doing right by our customers. We think we have a great platform — our online services, we think we have great people — we want to bring that to the customers and show them the value by bringing the full bank to them. Whether it’s consumer deposits, or it’s some specialized commercial banking, high-touch treasury management needs, Merrill Lynch, corporate investments, whatever it happens to be, we can bring that to our customers, and that’s how we want to win is by depth with those customers that really can get value out of the service. No super special sauce.
Do recent scandals at Wells Fargo affect your operations at all?
I’ve got a bunch of friends there. It’s unfortunate, I’ll say that. We’ll focus on ourselves and doing what we need to do in order to win customers.
How can Albuquerque and New Mexico grow?
What’s kind of inspiring right now is the grassroots efforts with ABQid, Innovate ABQ … everything that is really working toward the entrepreneurial spirit. It’s great everything AED is doing, New Mexico Partnership, all these different groups trying to bring in companies. I think the real thing is trying to bootstrap ourselves up with our entrepreneurial spirit and trying to grow internally. Focusing the city’s effort, the state’s effort on those companies already here I think is the best way. We want to still call and get those people from outside to move here, but the consistency of being able to support the local business, whether it’s the bank’s lending money, the city and the state with their tax incentives to help them. We need to shop local, we need to buy local. If I want a doughnut, I go to Donut Mart, I don’t go to Krispy Kreme. If I want a burger, I’ll go to Laguna Burger. That’s what I want, as much as possible. I shop at Duran’s all the time. I think that’s one thing is people can look at themselves and their habits on where they’re spending money.
Largest Banks in New Mexico
Ranked by Deposit volume, local
Rank Business name Deposit volume, local 1 Wells Fargo Bank N.A. $8.48 billion 2 Bank of America N.A. $3.84 billion 3 U.S. Bank N.A. $1.52 billion View This List
Paul Mondragón tries to expand Bank of America’s presence in the community