Trust - Reliance - Commitment - Loyalty
Named a 2019 Best-In-State Bank by Forbes Magazine
Peoples Bank has been Whatcom County's local bank since 1921. With branches in key Whatcom communities, including Bellingham, Lynden, Ferndale and Everson, our success is predicated on the same values that make you successful: trust, reliance, commitment and loyalty.
Reflecting our strong values, Peoples Bank was one of only three banks in Washington state to be named a “Best Bank” in Forbes Magazine’s second annual review of the Best-In-State Banks and Credit Unions.
Over the years we have learned that delivering on our promise, “A Higher Level of Service,” always starts and ends with people. We are a proud member of the Whatcom community; we live here, we work here, Whatcom is our home, and we are honored to serve your banking needs.
The Peoples Bank Story
It was the summer of 1920 when the residents of Lynden, Washington decided they needed a change. At the time, there was only one bank in town. To create healthy competition and expand financing options for the local community, a town meeting was held at the Odd Fellow Hall (now known as Eagles Hall) to begin the process of establishing a new bank. On January 7, 1921, the new Peoples State Bank opened for business.
In 1938, Irwin LeCocq Sr. purchased a controlling interest in the Bank, joined as President and established the Bank’s core values of honesty, integrity, respect, and fiscal conservatism. Irwin LeCocq Jr. joined the bank in 1952, assumed the role of president in 1969, and oversaw $13 million in assets and three branches. His son, Charles LeCocq, was elected President and CEO in 1987, carrying on the family tradition and supporting the core values set by his grandfather. He served in that capacity through early 2013 when he became Chairman of the Board and continues as CEO. Charles has grown the Bank to 23 branches and more than $1.9 billion in assets. Charles represents the third generation of LeCocq leadership at the Bank and is a fifth-generation banker. Read more...
Businesses in Whatcom County choose Peoples Bank for many reasons. We have financing solutions for big businesses, small business and everything in between, cutting-edge technology to take the work out of banking, and local banking and lending experts who put their knowledge to work for you.
It’s about trust, reliability, commitment and loyalty. Our customers choose Peoples Bank for many reasons; these are just a few.
Transition Bikes appreciates working with a local bank that believes in what they do and shares their core values.
Mt. Baker Ski Area
Conditions can change quickly at Mt. Baker Ski Area, which is why they trust Peoples Bank to adapt with them.
Kulshan Brewing Company
Kulshan knows Peoples Bank is committed to their success, which means they spend less time worrying about their finances and more time doing what they love.
Village Books & Paper Dreams
Village Books chooses to partner with a bank that shares their passion for community involvement.
A Full Relationship Banking Experience
Our stable and ongoing growth is predicated on the same values that we started with nearly 100 years ago: be responsible and dedicated to our clients and serve our local communities beyond the business of banking.
For our personal banking customers, this includes flexible checking and savings accounts, personal loans, and expert investment and planning services.
For our commercial clients, our business banking services are designed to improve the efficiency and growth of your operation through a full range of accounts, business loans, merchant services, and treasury management services. We also offer a suite of sophisticated mobile and online banking tools on par with any national bank’s offering.
As we did nearly 100 years ago when we established our roots in Lynden, we operate from a “People Come First” philosophy. Our unwavering commitment to our employees, customers and local communities is what makes us a true community bank and distinguishes us from other banks in the area. Annually, our employees donate hundreds of hours of their own time as board members, volunteers, and in addition to our human capital, Peoples Bank provides generous sponsorship and grant support to local organizations. We are dedicated to providing support to the communities where we live and work.
Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County
As a Senior Real Estate Loan Officer with Peoples Bank, Tiffany Bergsma-Evans spends her working hours helping individuals and families get into new homes. As a volunteer who sits on the board of Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County, Tiffany carries out this same mission for families whose circumstances prevent them from accessing some of the more traditional paths to home ownership.
“For me personally,” says Tiffany, “supporting Habitat for Humanity is just a natural extension of what I do. The ability to help someone who can’t afford a traditional bank mortgage is really rewarding. To be able to see these families make that dream of home ownership come true is on another level.” Read more...
Junior Achievement in Whatcom County
Peoples Bank supports Junior Achievement of Whatcom, Island and Skagit Counties (JA-WIS) through sponsorship, volunteering and fundraising.
"Financial literacy is an incredibly important life skill,” says Melinda Kaemingk, compliance officer at Peoples Bank Barkley Village Office and Junior Achievement volunteer. “But unfortunately many kids don’t learn about budgeting and saving until they’re in the real world and faced with a stack of bills. Junior Achievement offers a curriculum that not only excites students, but enables them to experience real-life financial scenarios in the classroom.” Read more...
Derek Thornton, Vice President and Controller at Peoples Bank, has long been an active supporter of Lydia Place, a Bellingham-based nonprofit that provides housing, education and case management to homeless families in Whatcom County. He has served on the organization’s board of directors for four years, using his expertise as an accountant to help Lydia Place as board treasurer. He also takes great in pride working for a company that supports nonprofits in the communities it serves.
“Supporting organizations like Lydia Place is an extension of Peoples Bank’s core values,” says Derek. “Our culture is about honesty, integrity, and doing the right thing. Being involved in the community is the right thing to do.” Read more...
Paint Bellingham Blue - Western Washington University
“Peoples Bank is a proud sponsor of Paint Bellingham Blue because we recognize that in Bellingham, WWU is one of the major economic engines that fuels this community,” said Christopher Neros, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Lending Officer at the Peoples Bank Barkley Financial Center in Bellingham. The event celebrates the start of the Western school year, welcoming new and returning students to Bellingham.
“We’re also a supporter of education, and we have a lot of WWU graduates working for us. Many of our customers who are entrepreneurs are graduates, so we’ve got a lot of reasons to support the University and its presence in the community.” Read more..
Ski to Sea
For more than a decade, Peoples Bank has been a corporate sponsor of Ski to Sea — Whatcom County’s biggest annual event. In addition to returning as title sponsor of the race in 2017, Peoples Bank fielded a team comprised almost entirely of employees.
Team “FDICyou@theFinish” was led by Jim Ostendorff, vice president and Cybersecurity Officer at Peoples Bank. Now a four-time veteran of the Ski to Sea relay, Jim sees the event as much more than a race. “We’re all out here working as a team, supporting each other, and accomplishing something together,” says Jim. “It’s a really powerful way for us to demonstrate Peoples Bank’s 96-year commitment to serving the local community beyond the business of banking.” Read more...
United Way of Whatcom County
For decades, Peoples Bank and its employees have supported the United Way of Whatcom County. This local branch of the United Way organization, in turn, supports more than thirty non-profits and has invested more than $10 million in the community over the last ten years.
Debbie Hogue, Vice President and Talent Acquisition Manager at the Peoples Bank Barkley Financial Center, has been involved with the United Way of Whatcom County for over twenty years, and currently chairs the organization’s board. “It’s a huge deal for me! Honestly, that’s why we all choose to work for a community bank – because that is what a community bank does, it gives back.” Read more...