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Southwest Capital Bank History

Where Long-Term Relationships Matter

Take a look at the leadership history of most banks and you'll find a jumbled mess. They've been bought, sold, reorganized, and sold again - you never know who "they" are! Then compare it with the leadership history of Southwest Capital Bank, where you'll see an unbroken family tree and a history of long-term relationships.

The Bank was founded in 1890 by a group of local business leaders who managed the institution with a focus on local families. That same ownership remained place until 1969 with Samuel D. Levenson, already a well-known business leader in the region, purchased Southwest Capital Bank. Mr. Levenson continued the same family first approach to banking expanding our commercial lending to local businesses. Robert "Bob" Levenson joined his father in the early 1970s and grew the Bank's services to include new branches and the Bank's first drive-up windows and ATMs. Greg W. Levenson began working at a very young age during his summer school vacations and joined full time in 2000. He has been the driving force behind Southwest Capital Bank ever since continuing a century's long passion for New Mexico based businesses and the families in our communities. Not only are we among the very few family owned banks in the nation, we are also one of the most successful banks in the nation.

The familiar, conservative leadership of the Levenson family means continuity and stability for our customers-many of whom come from families that have themselves been part of the New Mexico landscape for generations. There will certainly be changes in technology and in the economy but no in who we are or what our focus will be. Being a family bank in a place where family comes first, we know what it's like to work together, struggle together, and prosper together. We understand what it is to have a business and a family in New Mexico. 

Relationships are the foundation around which we've built Southwest Capital Bank. It is why we are proud to be the Long-Term Relationship Bank. 

Mission: With a relationship-based business model and a can-do entrepreneurial spirit, Southwest Capital Bank is committed to ALL of our customers and our local communities.

Vision: Southwest Capital Bank seeks to be the best bank for locally owned businesses in Albuquerque, Northern New Mexico and beyond.


Chez - Headshot



Southwest Capital Bank welcomes J. Chesley "Chez" Steel 


Southwest Capital Bank recently welcomed J. Chesley "Chez" Steel as its new Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Steel has served in a wide variety of banking roles at institutions big and small throughout his decades-long career. Chez started his banking career in 1983 and has spent the last 37 years serving his customers and community tirelessly. His dedication to helping New Mexicans achieve financial success, along with growing their businesses, will fit in nicely with Southwest Capital Bank's CARE culture - Community, Accountability, Relationships, Entrepreneurial Spirit. Chez is married to Chris and they have 5 children and 12 grandchildren. He joins the leadership team of Executive Chairman Don K. Padgett and President & Chief Operating Officer Lonnie C. Talbert. 

"He and Don Padgett, who is among the greatest Community Bankers of all time, have very successfully navigated growth, economic downturns, and booming economies at other Banks. With the support of Lonnie Talbert, a caring Board of Directors and our truly wonderful Southwest Capital Family I know the future is bright for all of us." - Greg Levenson, Southwest Capital Bank Owner