Spokane Journal of Business

First National to triple its number of branches

Spokane lender expects to employ 50 by year-end

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First National Financial Group Inc., of Spokane, has opened three new branches in the last two months, giving it five, and plans to open a sixth office, in Vancouver, Wash., within the next two weeks.

Glen Hays, a director and senior shareholder of First National, says that during May, the company, which operates its corporate offices at 429 E. Third here and a branch office in Post Falls, opened a second Spokane office, at 503 W. Francis, as well as one office each in both Moses Lake and Kennewick.

First National, which was founded in 1996, offers a range of financial services, including residential loans, business development loans, and commercial real estate financing. Within the last six months, it also started what it calls its secondary markets division. Hays, who is president of that division, says the unit buys, sells, and trades certain kinds of secured and unsecured receivables, such as real estate mortgages.

Hays says that First National also is interested in eventually acquiring other finance-related companies, such as a small investment-banking firm or an escrow company. It currently is looking at developing a strategic alliance with a bank or credit union, too, he says.

First National currently employs about 45 people, up from 25 just two months ago, and expects to add at least five more employees by the end of the year.

At its new branch on Francis, First National employs six people, Hays says. He says the office, which occupies about 1,300 square feet of leased space, specializes in residential loans.

To open its new Moses Lake office, First National bought Western Capital Mortgage of Moses Lake. First National now operates out of Western Capitals former office in Moses Lake under the name First National Home Loan and has retained all four of Western Capitals employees. It since has hired two more staffers there.

The former owner of Western Capital, Jerry Ferraro, has become First Nationals Western regional manager, Hays says. He says Ferraro will oversee First Nationals branches in Moses Lake and Kennewick, and its planned Vancouver branch.

Though the Moses Lake and Kennewick branches currently specialize in home loans, both eventually will offer business development services. First National leased space for its Kennewick office, which is staffed by six people.

  • Lisa Harrell

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