Tuesday, February 28, marks FirstBank’s 60th anniversary. To celebrate 60 years of ‘banking for good’ we put together a list of 60 facts you don’t know about one of the country’s largest privately-held banks:


1. First customers. We opened 270 customer accounts on our first day of business in 1963.

2. First Westland National Bank. FirstBank was actually First Westland National Bank before being renamed FirstBank in 1978.

3. Our humble beginning. Our first “branch” was a 12’ by 50’ trailer affectionately known as “The Check Wagon.”

4. Saturdays. On June 14, 1963, we introduced Saturday morning banking. Some could say we were on the cutting edge of extended banking hours.

5. First President. Roger Reisher was FirstBank’s first president. He was instrumental in making FirstBank the success story it is today and put forward many innovations and programs the company is still known for. Sadly Roger passed in 2013, but we still think of him often and even named our former boardroom after him.

6. California state-of-mind. FirstBank opened its first location outside Colorado in Palm Desert, California on December 6, 1985.

7. 24-hour customer service begins. 24-hour telephone banking was introduced on April 3, 1989.

8. We joined the internet. In 1995, FirstBank joined the World Wide Web at www.1stbank.com. Now, you can find us at efirstbank.com

9. FirstBank heads further west. In 2007, FirstBank opened its first location in Arizona.

10. Our cube gets introduced. FirstBank debuted its signature orange cube logo in August 2008.

11. FirstBank sidestepped the collapse. The bank didn’t originate subprime loans, helping FirstBank experience strong growth during the economic downturn in 2008. This kept us well capitalized and able to lend when other banks were dialing back loan efforts.

12. Colorado Gives Day is born. In December 2010, the inaugural Colorado Gives Day is declared with a goal of raising $1 million in donations in 24 hours. Instead, the program raised over $8 million in one day. In total, Colorado Gives Day has raised over $415 million since inception. 

13. Arizona Gives Day debuts. In April 2013, FirstBank and the Arizona Alliance of Nonprofits also debuted Arizona Gives Day, raising nearly $1 million in 24 hours for state nonprofits. Since inception, the program has raised more than $36 million. 

14. Coachella Valley Giving Day Launch. FirstBank will officially launch Coachella Valley Giving Day on March 1, 2023, in partnership with Desert Community Foundation. 


15. Free Treats. FirstBank often thanks customers with different freebies, including free lunches, treats, and services. For instance, we did a Fiesta Friday promotion, where we partnered with local Hispanic-owned businesses to provide free food and treats to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. 

16. Tickets. FirstBank is the main sponsor of the 1STBANK Center, a multipurpose event venue that hosts popular performers and singers.

17. Surprises. To bring our “banking for good” mantra to life, FirstBank set out to make a positive impact on several long-time customers, who had been through especially hard times.

18. Partnership. We frequently partner with or hire our business customers for fun community events, like our Capture the Cube campaign in the Roaring Fork Valley and our Gingerbread House Event with Little Man Ice Cream.

19. Customer proposal and wedding. FirstBank got involved in two customers’ unforgettable proposal. We even contributed to their wedding day.

20. Promoting customers. The bank introduced the Good Business Contest to highlight business customers who, despite challenges caused by COVID-19, continued to do right by their customers, communities or employees. 

21. 24-hour customer service. The bank has a 24-hour call center – operated by people – not automated systems. In fact, we’ve been advised by outside consultants to switch to a more automated approach for cost-cutting reasons, but don’t believe that’s the right thing to do for customers or employees.

22. Customer growth. Today, we have over 810,000 customers across three states.

23. Doing good in times of crisis. FirstBank enacted several programs to help those impacted by the Marshall and Middle Fork Fires. The bank contributed $250,000 to the Boulder County Wildfire fund, distributed 70 care packages – containing gift cards for necessities and other supplies – to people in need, and offered employees volunteer time off to assist with fire relief initiatives. 

24. Financial literacy. FirstBank created Empower All, a collection of videos and resources in English and Spanish to help everyone enhance their financial confidence and independence.  

25. Free resources. FirstBank launched its Smart Cents blog to help customers and non-customers get tips and tricks for home ownershipfinancial healthbusiness success, and savings.

26. Multicultural banking. In early 2020, FirstBank launched the Multicultural Banking Center, focused on extending financial services to Hispanic, Asian, and Black/African American communities. The Center serves as a hub for all branch locations and joins the bank’s growing list of Asian and Spanish Banking Centers, where customers can receive banking services in their preferred language and an understanding of their culture.

27. Providing Access To Homeownership (PATH). FirstBank introduced the PATH Grant program that strives to build generational wealth and remove barriers to homeownership for Black and African American families, who represent the least likely ethnic/racial group to own a home. Thanks to the down payment assistance program, 150 families were able to become homeowners.


28. We started small. When we opened our doors in 1963, we had only 10 employees, including our founder.

29. Employee growth. Today, we have more than 2,800 employees.

30. Long-term employees. Over a third of our workforce has been with FirstBank for more than 10 years.

31. Longer-term employees. What’s more, almost 300 of our employees have been with FirstBank for 20 years or longer.

32. Employees are part owners. We are privately held. Employees have a financial stake in the bank’s success through its Employee Stock Ownership Program.

33. Promote from within. The reason so many of us have been with FirstBank for years, or decades even, might have something to do with our “promote from within” culture. We usually hire for management positions internally and are here to help employees lead progressive careers.

34. High satisfaction. FirstBank has been recognized as a Top Workplace by the Denver Post for eleven consecutive years, Top Workplace by the Arizona Republic and was named among the “Best Places to Work” by the Desert Sun.

35. Employee videos. To display our fun work atmosphere and showcase our employees, FirstBank produced two videos: FirstBank: Where Culture Comes First and Faces of FirstBank. If you haven’t seen these yet, put on your headphones and turn up the volume.

36. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). In 2021, the bank announced a strategic plan that included a DEI pillar. FirstBank also has a DEI committee and several employee resource groups to help foster a diverse and inclusive workplace. 

37. Education funding. FirstBank invests heavily in training and education programs for its 2,800+ employees — as well as their children. The bank has contributed millions to educational support for employees and their families.

38. Diverse workforce. FirstBank has an extremely diverse workforce, with hundreds of employees coming from multiple countries and cultures. More than half of FirstBank’s management roles – from assistant manager to executive – are occupied by women. Nearly 40 percent of our employee population represent different races, ethnicities, military statuses and unique abilities. Our employees can collectively speak well over 30 different languages.

Community Involvement

39. Top philanthropist. FirstBank consistently ranks as one of the most philanthropic companies in Colorado, according to Denver Business Journal’s “Giving Guide.”

40. Donations. FirstBank has donated more than $80 million to local nonprofits since 2000. Each year, the company donates millions to roughly 1,000 local charities in Arizona, Colorado and Palm Desert.

41. Volunteer time off. The Company’s Employee Volunteer Program gives employees two days of paid time off to support organizations they’re passionate about. This means we pay employees to volunteer.

42. COVID19 support. FirstBank stepped up to do good amid the pandemic by supporting local open eateries, supplying over 1,500 free meals to essential workers, getting protective equipment to hospitals in need, contributing over $600,000 to economic recovery and emergency relief efforts, and more. 

43. Protecting the environment. In 2021 and 2022, FirstBank partnered with global reforestation nonprofit, One Tree Planted, to plant a total of 100,000 trees. In addition to planting trees, FirstBank introduced several initiatives to help preserve the planet, like introducing Second Wave® Recovered Ocean Bound Plastic Visa Debit cards.* 

44. Gives Days. Colorado Gives Day and Arizona Gives Day have collectively raised over $451 million for area nonprofits since their inceptions ($415 million was raised in CO; $36 million in AZ).

45. Give It Forward. Several FirstBank officers and executives disguised themselves as gas station attendants and veterinarians in training to surprise hundreds of people with a free bill – in hopes they would “give it forward” to a charity of their choice on Gives Day.

46. Giving pillars. We aim to contribute a sizable portion of our profits annually to affordable housing, economic growth, and education-related charities.

47. Transforming Colorado. The bank was the financial partner behind iconic attractions and revitalization projects, including Union Station, Stanley Marketplace, Hangar 2, and even had a big hand in helping Vail grow. Check out this video to find out how FirstBank has been transforming Colorado.

48. Official bank of the Phoenix Suns. FirstBank was named the “Official Banking Partner of the Phoenix Suns” beginning in the 2019-20 NBA season.

49. Scholarships. FirstBank has contributed nearly $5.4 million since 1988, helping over 600 students go to college through its Scholars Program.

50. Nonprofit boards. Most FirstBank Officers serve with nonprofit organizations – many usually serve at the board level.

Tech Fun + Innovations

51. Techie solutions. FirstBank is continually exploring ways to make banking more convenient for customers. We’ve invested in new technologies to help make banking, managing credit/debit cards, and loan applications easier.

52. Zelle me. We were one of the first banks in the country to offer Zelle®, an instant and easy mobile payment service that can transfer funds to account holders around the country within minutes.

53. Mobile gains.   There’s a lot you can do on our mobile app, including; deposit checks, view deposits, transfer funds, view history, find locations, etc.

54. Freeze your cards. Did you know if you misplace your debit/credit card, you can actually freeze them online or in our mobile app without contacting customer service or stepping into a branch?

55. Access to a wide network of ATMs. FirstBank joined the MoneyPass ATM network allowing debit and ATM cardholders access to surcharge-free withdrawals from over 37,000 ATMs nationwide and in Puerto Rico. 

56. Log travel plans online. We all forget to notify our bank of big travel plans. Something about long wait times and automated responses that makes it too taxing. That’s no biggy here. You can go online and, with the click of a few buttons, notify us you’re headed out of town. Or call our 24-hour customer service, where you can talk to real people in no time.

57. Growing in IT. Many people don’t realize it, but FirstBank is actually becoming a growing tech company. We have to in today’s digital world. As a result, we’ve expanded our IT department to over 400 people and continue to hire more and more tech-savvy employees. 

58. Renovated HQ. Our new 227,000 sq. ft. headquarters was completed in 2016 and includes a rooftop patio, fitness center, game room, central courtyard, café, and even private nursing rooms for new mothers.

59. More like a tech campus. Our headquarters building itself is filled with technology to improve work life, communications, customer service, and ultimately products and services. For instance, we have biometric scanning to access areas of the building. We also have video teleconference rooms and collaboration stations, and all employee desks are wired to move up or down with the touch of a button. Pretty cool, eh?

60. Capture the Cube. If you enjoyed fun, interactive apps, snowboarding/skiing and winning stuff, then you would’ve LOVED our Capture the Cube promotion. Winners could use our Capture the Cube app to find hints and clues about where our FirstBank cubes were hidden so they could redeem them for a special edition snowboard or ski.

When it comes to what’s ahead for FirstBank, expect to see a lot more from us. Our goal is to continue helping customers, communities and employees thrive. 

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*The Visa Debit Card is $10, per year after the first year and waived for accountholders who are 25 years of age and under at the time the annual fee is charged. Second Wave® by CPI Card Group® Payment cards featuring a core made with recovered ocean-bound plastic.

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