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Wendell Curry still has the original green, zippered bag he was given when he opened his first account with Vantage Bank Texas in 1985.

“I have been with Vantage Bank Texas since day one,” said Curry. “I was in line when they opened their doors in McAllen. I have always felt at home with them. That’s really important. I wouldn’t change. I’d quit business before I changed banks!”

The decision to place that kind of faithful allegiance in a bank didn’t come lightly for the founder and owner of McAllen Gold and Silver Exchange. Trading in precious metals is fraught with risk-reward and Curry has weathered his share of the market’s ups and downs since he started his company in 1977.

“In the hard times when business was kind of shaky and we were trudging along, Vantage Bank Texas lent me whatever I needed for my business,” said Curry. “They’ve been loyal. Vantage Bank Texas was my bank even though I was the director of another bank. I don’t know, it’s the personal touch that Vantage Bank Texas has; the friendship, the trust.”

Born in Donna to Irish immigrants, Curry knows first-hand about the value of hard work and determination. He grew up in a small house with a family that didn’t have much of anything. Even so, he managed to put himself through college, graduating from Pan American University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

When he opened McAllen Gold and Silver Exchange in 1977, gold was selling for about $160 an ounce. When gold hit $1,800 an ounce in 2011, Curry closed a multi-million-dollar deal that made him the top precious metals dealer in South Texas. Curry is the first to admit that he was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time; however, this is not to say Curry’s success was all about luck. To him, it was about taking smart, calculated risks at the right time, but equally important, to have a banking partner that trusted his business instincts. Trading in gold and silver often involves large cash transfers and Curry says it was important to have the right bank by his side each time he was ready to pull the trigger on an important transaction.

“I needed the right people on my team – a team that was able to jump when I needed to,” said Curry. “I needed my bank to help me with wire transfers. When I’d sell these gold coins, they’d pay me with wire transfers. And those wire transfers could have stalled my operation, but Vantage Bank Texas gave me credit immediately. I’ll tell you somebody who’s really good with risk-reward: my commercial lender, George Cardenas. He has to think about the bank’s position, accessing the risk, and ultimately deciding on whether to move forward with a loan or not.”

McAllen Gold and Silver Exchange has been in the same location for 40 years, a reflection of the company’s stability and commitment to South Texas. Curry’s sons have joined the family business, indicating the brokerage will be around for decades to come. Vantage Bank Texas will be right there with them.

“Reputation, dependability, honesty, integrity: if you don’t have those things in the gold business, you’re not going to make it,” said Curry. Honestly, from the bottom of my heart, there is not a better organized, functioning bank, fundamentally, than my bank. There isn’t one. And I’ll stand up to a debate, to a question, to prove that Vantage Bank Texas is the best bank in town.