Community banks are fundamental elements within communities across the country. Whether they are funding school fundraisers, creating local scholarship funds, or donating to local charitable organizations, community banks have always lent a helping hand to those in need. This is just one of the many reasons an individual or business should support and do business with their local bank.
Besides the goodwill that local banks strive for in their communities, the financial benefits can also be extremely positive. One of the first financial benefits realized when doing business with a local bank is that these banks tend to have fewer and lower fees than their larger counterparts. This means that opening a checking account, savings account, or setting up a safe deposit box has fewer hoops to jump through and is less expensive to open.
The financial benefits go beyond just the fees and extend to long-term financial commitments. When looking to get a loan from a bank, choosing a community banker that is rooted in the area and understanding of an individual's situation can be extremely helpful. A conversation with a community banker can be about more than just making the bank money. Local bankers understand the landscape of the community that they serve and are extremely helpful and understanding throughout the loan application process. Having that personal relationship with a local banker who knows more than what is written on an application allows them to better serve their communities.
When having conversations with big banks, that context of who a person is and their background is missing, which means they lack a true understanding of who that person is as a customer. That is why community banks have a much higher approval rate for loans than their larger counterparts. Those bigger banks simply don’t know their customers and lack a true relationship with them. This is perhaps one of the biggest advantages to doing business with a community bank. Instead of calling the customer hotline of a large bank and being put on hold until you reach a representative, one can simply go to lunch with their local banker and talk through any problems or needs. Instead of a customer support hotline it’s just a personal phone number with a banker that is trusted and a with whom a relationship has been built.
These relationships are the cornerstone of community banking and the number one reason why local banks have not just survived, but thrived for generations. I’m sure most can name a few banks in their community that fit this description and maybe it's time to start doing business with them.