Bank Audi changes name, focus to target customers in Miami
By Frank Norton
Bank Audi (USA) has changed its name and bolstered its market presence in Miami to target local as well as international clients.
The New York-based company, now called Interaudi Bank, opened its first full-service branch office earlier this year at 200 S. Biscayne Blvd.
Bank Audi had a representative office at the same location. The new office and expanded charter enable Interaudi to directly serve domestic clients as well as foreign nationals.
The company acquired Schroder Trust Bank's operating license and a few employees in December.
The name change is a move to reflect a more international image.
Interaudi's local operations managers say they are looking to expand the company's Miami business into local and domestic markets.
"For many years, we have had a very successful business serving the diverse interests of private clients in Latin America, and we know that many of them view Miami as an important financial and commercial center for their business," said bank manager Nabil Achkar, formerly of Bank Audi (Suisse).
The bank's 10 employees will extend private banking and commercial lending services to local and international clients, he said.
"From the side of the existing customers, it is the same staff that they have been dealing with and the same building," said Mr. Achkar. "We have extremely low turnover of both personnel and clients, and that is all done without advertising." He said clients are drawn to Interaudi by its highly conservative practices.
More than 70% of the bank's money is available in cash, which Mr. Achkar said is an uncommonly high liquidity level.
"We have an extremely conservative lending policy, so we only make fully collateralized loans. That's one of the ways you test the strength of a bank," he said.
He said Bank Audi has a reputation for being highly selective with clients, even before the provisions of the USA Patriot Act, which increased due-diligence requirements for financial institutions.
"It's an extremely close relationship that we have with our customers," he said. "We know their family, their business and their home, and we become an extension of that. That is why our customers never leave."