By Jennifer M. Sims

Killeen Daily Herald

A recent redesign of the lobby at Extraco Banks Killeen branch is more than skin deep, according to company officials.

Towering wooden pillars adorned with customer feedback and company information stand between the bank counter and the offices where customers can inquire about other financial services, such as insurance, trusts and mortgages.

Colorful signs plastered with witty slogans addressing financial responsibilities such as college tuition and retirement funds are plastered throughout the bank.

An information wall for customer use features a telephone with a direct connection to Extracos 24-hour account information phone line and a computer with Internet capabilities.

The look is part of a new package that emphasizes the role of the newly named financial center as a one-stop shop for a wide array of financial services, said Linda Ellis, assistant vice president of the Killeen branch and the financial centers manager.

The center includes four separate but related departments: the banking center, trusts, mortgages and the Extraco Financial Group, which handles services such as insurance.

The main thing is to provide convenience for customers, Ellis said of the transition, which began in late July.

The financial center concept also includes cross-training efforts which will allow each department to be familiar with other products and services available at the bank, said Gary Young, senior vice president and market executive for the Killeen branch. For example, loan officers also will be knowledgeable of insurance products or other banking services, he explained.

The Killeen branch already offered the services, but did not promote the services in a unified campaign, Ellis said.

We didnt package it the way we do know, she said.

The Killeen branch is the first Extraco Bank in the West Bell County market to participate in the company-wide transition. Extraco will shell out more than $5 million to convert 13 Central Texas branches to the financial center concept.

Extraco Corp. was founded as a cotton market more than 100 years ago in Waco. It is a family-owned Central Texas financial institution employing more than 500 people in banks between Dallas and San Antonio.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. today will celebrate the recently completed financial center, located at 201 W. Jasper Road.

Contact Jennifer M. Sims at

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