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Making Hanmi Bank your ‘Bank of Choice’

Mohammad Tariq | EVP & Regional President, Texas. Photo provided by Hanmi Bank.

Mohammad Tariq | EVP & Regional President, Texas. Photo provided by Hanmi Bank.

by Shobana Muratee
HOUSTON – The growing success of Hanmi Bank, a Los Angeles-based subsidiary of Hanmi Financial Corp, is attributed mainly to the multi-ethnic communities it caters to across California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington. And when Mohammad Tariq took charge as the Executive Vice President and Regional President of Texas for Hanmi Bank nearly three years ago on Oct. 27, 2014, he knew exactly where to begin – at the core of the community.
“Tariq has a proven track record of generating profitable growth in his previous positions at MetroBank, N.A., serving customers in the Korean, Chinese, South Asian and mainstream communities in Texas,” said Chong Guk Kum, President, CEO of Hanmi Bank in a statement.
In an exclusive interview with Voice of Asia Tariq shared his journey with banking. “I got into banking 20 years ago dealing with many different communities as a Chief Lending Officer at MetroBank, N.A. (now East West Bank), the largest Asian ethnic community bank in Texas. He saw to the loan production growth, commercial lending strategies, and marketing plans for the Houston and Dallas metropolitan areas. “That was a huge undertaking because of my desire to be a part of certain communities that we cater,” he said.
After MetroBank, Tariq was Executive Vice President and Chief Loan Officer at Golden Bank, N.A. He received his graduate banking education from the University of Pennsylvania’s Stonier School of Banking and holds a Leadership certification from the Wharton School of Business.
His credits his success to his keen sense of understanding his customers. “I feel like a banker has a defined path to deal with his company and see what the needs are of the customers,” he said. “Also, the ability to make yourself available is a key factor.”
Speaking of the challenges, Tariq said, “Every time there’s a merger, you are blending two different cultures. Each company has its own ritual. When our bank purchased this local bank (United Central Bank), there were two different cultures that I deal with, one from a California owned bank and another from a Texas small community bank. We added lots of training programs to identify obstacles and were able to mitigate them.”
Hanmi Bank was very supportive of the community during Hurricane Harvey and saw an opportunity to give back. Tariq was instrumental in Hanmi Bank donating $10,000 to Sewa International, a non-profit organization in Houston.
The banking industry is very competitive and aggressive, and many people prefer mainstream banking because they claim to be more accessible, Tariq pointed out. “We are a community bank at $5 billion. We tell them (customers) that we are a phone call away.”
He went on to explained how he is committed to being accessible by personally attending to customers when his loan officers and branch managers are unavailable. “Because time is an asset to their businesses, we want to make sure that our customer will make our bank their bank of choice, rather than just a transactional bank,” Tariq said.
In Texas, Hanmi Bank has three branches in the Houston area, five in Dallas and one in Austin. Tariq’s portfolio includes other areas as well. Dallas, he said, has very capable managers which has helped him focus more in Houston and Austin areas to bring in the best talent.
When Hanmi Bank announced its presence in Houston as the new community bank, it wasn’t just another community bank but a leader among communities.
In January 2018, Hanmi Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:HAFC) the parent company for the bank, reported net income for the 2017 fourth quarter of $11.5 million or $0.36 per diluted share, compared with $14.9 million, or $0.46 per diluted share for the 2017 third quarter and $14.4 million, or $0.45 per diluted share for the 2016 fourth quarter. Globe NewsWire reports for the 2017 year, net income was $54.7 million, or $1.69 per diluted share, compared with $56.5 million, or $1.75 per diluted share, for 2016.

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