Jay Speckman is a Commercial Lender at Citizens Bank and has been in local banking in Indiana for over 14 years. Jay was a local, self-employed businessman before he became a commercial lender, meaning he truly understands what it’s like to sit on both sides of the desk. And, Jay was a customer of Citizens Bank even before he was an employee!
What types of loans do you primarily deal with?
"I deal strictly with commercial loans for business. I have customers that come in for a commercial loan and enjoy working with us so much they end up wanting to also refinance their house through Citizens. In that case, I will facilitate a relationship with one of my colleagues who is a Mortgage Lender."
What is your top piece of financial advice related to commercial loans?
"Communication is so important. Make your payments and make them on time and if you run into trouble, communicate that. We can probably help you and provide ideas to get you back on track. If you don’t pay your payments, I am the one that has to be calling you and I don’t want to call for that reason."
Who inspires you?
"I am inspired by people I am close to. When a family member or close friend succeeds or gives you a pat on the back, it inspires me more than a public figure."
What is your favorite part of your job?
"I enjoy meeting with small business owners and working with all the different industries. It is a lot of fun learning all I can about my customers, crunching the numbers, providing them financing and a variety of other banking services. I was a local self-employed businessman for 25 years before becoming a banker 14 years ago. I believe owning, operating a business and borrowing money helps me relate. I have been on their side of the fence."
What is your favorite food?
"I like all of the foods that are not good for you: pizza, pancakes, tacos, cheeseburgers and fried chicken." One popular food item Jay doesn’t like? Peanut butter. "My pet peeve is peanut butter in the jelly jar. I do not like peanut butter. Use a different knife!"
Where would you travel to if you could go anywhere in the world?
"I like to travel in the good old USA but I am very interested in taking a trip to Australia and New Zealand!"
What do you like most about working at Citizens Bank?
"Citizens Bank is a local community bank. All of the employees, senior management and directors live locally. All bank and loan decisions are made locally. Citizens Bank has great people on all levels. I personally banked with Citizens before I became an employee and I can truly say it is a great place to bank and work."
What is the benefit to your customers of working with a local community bank?
"If you go to a national financial institution, you may go in and put in an application that may get sent to Ohio or wherever their headquarters may be. Someone will analyze a loan for Plainfield, Indiana, an area they may have no idea about. At Citizens Bank, you have all local people that know the area, neighborhood, and businesses. Everyone that runs this bank lives in and understands the community, so they are able to better serve you."