Filed underEye On Finance
Washington, D.C.––Now is the perfect time to join the “go local” movement by banking locally with a community bank like The Harbor Bank of Maryland. By doing so, consumers will realize the litany of benefits that come with banking with a community bank including a relationship-based banking experience, superior customer service and the pride that comes with reinvesting in one’s community.
“By going local and banking locally with your community bank, consumers can make a real difference in the lives of their neighbors and the future of their community,” said Sal Marranca, ICBA chairman and president and CEO of Cattaraugus County Bank, Little Valley, N.Y. “They’ll be making a hometown investment they can be proud of. After all, the money they deposit in their community bank will be reinvested in ways that drive their local economy, such as in the form of loans to local residents who want to buy a home or to small business owners who are looking to open shop on Main Street.”
As small businesses themselves, community banks only thrive when their customers and communities do the same, so taking care of their customers and looking out for the best interest of their community is engrained in the way they conduct their business each and every day. And when consumers call their local community bank, they’ll be reassured to know that they won’t be talking to someone halfway across the globe. Instead, they will be talking with their community banker who lives and works in the same community they do.
Community banks improve America’s communities by funding nearly 60 percent of all small businesses under $1 million and by using local dollars to help families purchase homes, buy a car, finance college and build financial security. By driving local economies and creating local jobs, community banks are an integral part of our financial system and play a key role in our nation’s economic recovery.
Community bank advantages include:
- Quality service. Community banks focus on the needs of local families, small businesses and farmers.
- Local deposits. Community banks lend in the community where their depositors live and work, keeping local communities vibrant and growing.
- Expertise. Because community banks are themselves small businesses, they understand the needs of small-business owners. Their core concern is lending to small businesses and farms. In fact, community banks make almost half of all small-business loans in cities and towns throughout America.
- Responsive. Community banks offer nimble decision-making on loans because decisions are made locally. And community bank decision-makers are accessible to their customers in person.
- Trust. Because their success depends on establishing long-term relationships, community banks always look out for the best interests of their customers. They work hard to deliver only the financial services and loans their customers truly need and want. Many community banks are willing to consider character, family history and discretionary spending in making loans.
- Civic loyalty. Community bank officers are typically deeply involved in making their local communities better places to live.
“The community banking industry has been the bright spot in this economy,” Joseph Haskins, chairman, president and CEO of Harbor Bank said. “We have long differentiated ourselves by the quality of our customer service and our strong local ties. And we’ve become more sophisticated in the services we can offer, including remote deposit capture and mobile banking, to match the larger banks. But the bottom line for us is relationships with people, not just transactions and numbers. The best way for consumers and small- business owners to learn about community banks is to visit their local bank and talk with their banker.”
“ICBA wants all Americans to know that their community bank is not only invested in their hometown, but also in them, as a customer,” Marranca said. “Our doors are open and we welcome consumers to go local and see the community bank difference for themselves.”