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Spotlight on Southwestern Illinois: Banking and Finance

Bill Barlow, Executive VP, Chief Lending Officer, First Clover Leaf Bank

By KERRY L. SMITH
    Etching a larger footprint in the Metro East with the opening of its first St. Clair County location in Swansea in July, First Clover Leaf Bank’s business banking division is growing as well, according to Executive VP and Chief Lending Officer Bill Barlow.
p15-Bill-BarlowBarlow    Barlow, whose resume includes nearly three decades in commercial lending, has been at FCLB for more than three years. He manages the bank’s business banking group and its residential mortgage group. Including Barlow, FCLB’s Madison County and St. Clair County commercial lending team totals nine professionals.
    FCLB’s collective client profile is comprised to a large extent of small to mid-sized privately held businesses, he says.
    “Our current portfolio is a mix of commercial real estate investors and developers, industrial, manufacturing, construction and other clientele,” said Barlow. “We’re a genuine community bank that equips companies with the financial working capital necessary to operate and expand their businesses.”
    On the mortgage side, Barlow has the opportunity to work with a team of mortgage originators who work with homeowners purchasing or refinancing. “It’s a very exciting time to be working with homeowners who are making one of the largest investments of their lives,” said Barlow. “But it has also become extremely challenging for mortgage lenders as the regulatory climate continually increases in complexity.”
    In 2014 Barlow began a three-year term on the Illinois Bankers Association board as a means of staying informed and advocating for Metro East banks on the industry’s key legislative priorities.
    Functioning as an adviser for businesses and families by looking at the whole relationship — not just a client’s specific need at any given time — is a distinguishing characteristic of FCLB, according to Barlow.
    In addition to his passion for banking, Barlow has been actively involved for years in voluntary leadership positions within the Boy Scouts organization. From 2006 to present, he has served in numerous roles including council president and vice president of finance/endowment for the Lewis & Clark Council of the Boy Scouts of America. For the past two years, Barlow has also served as president of the Boy Scouts’ Area 3 Central Region.
    Barlow’s support of hospice care can be seen in his leadership as chairman of Hospice of Southern Illinois from 2005-2011.
    The banker also served for six years as chairman of the former economic development organization known as TheAlliance of Edwardsville and Glen Carbon and the board chairman of its successor, the Edwardsville Economic Development Alliance.
    Barlow and his wife, Kay, have lived in Edwardsville for 18 years and have two grown daughters.