5 Reasons to Use a Community Bank for Your Personal Banking

Community Banks make decisions locally with an understanding of local financial conditionsIt wasn’t all that long ago consumers were in an uproar regarding plans by several major banks – led by Bank of America’s proposed $5 a month ATM charge – to impose higher fees on consumer banking products to recoup billions in lost revenues associated with new regulations.

While many of the banks backed away from those plans and a national Bank Transfer Day movement failed to find serious traction, there’s still a deep dissatisfaction among consumers with the major banks.

Indeed, Consumer Reports says 1 in 5 people considered moving accounts in the last year, but didn’t do so because it was “ too much of a hassle.” A March 2012 survey showed 11% of consumers representing $675 billion in deposits would like to move their accounts from one of the nation’s largest banks within the next year.

As upset as folks get, that switch often doesn’t happen. The #1 reason cited is that regional and community banks can’t match the services or convenience, particularly the mobile banking apps. But is that reality? Or simply a perception based on millions spent on advertising?

One thing is certain: most consumers have a greater level of trust for their regional or local community bank. Here are 5 more good reasons to consider moving your personal banking to a community bank:

Same services at a lower cost

Almost every service the major banks tout can be found at a community bank. Whether it’s online bill paying or debit and credit cards, community banks such as First National Bank-Fox Valley not only provide the services, but do so with substantially lower fees. Recent studies show that community banks, on average, offer better interest rates on savings and better terms on credit cards and other loans.

Grow the local economy

The small- and medium-sized businesses that make up Main Street rely on community banks for their financing. When you use your community bank, you increase the assets they have available to work with for making loans. Interesting stat: Community banks control fewer than 25% of banking assets yet are responsible for more than 70% of small business lending.

You’ll know your banker

When it comes to making key financial decisions or loan approvals, the decisions are going to be made at the bank by people who live and work in the same community you do. Leadership at community banks is more likely to have face-to-face relationships with their customers and understand local needs. That knowledge makes it possible for them to approve loans that might be rejected at larger institutions.

Community really means community

When a local or regional bank identifies itself as a community bank, it’s not just a catchy moniker. They’re tethered to the success of the community and tend to be very involved in local causes and activities.

Productivity where you can see it

The primary activity of almost all community banks is to turn deposits into loans and other productive investments within the community. Bigger banks are answering to Wall Street, where their activities may generate profits, but not necessarily those that benefit your local community.

The bottom line: A community bank can give you the same products as the major banks, and provide most services at a lower cost. Community banks and their locally based decision makers also help grow and sustain the local community. If you think the time is right to move your accounts, call First National Bank-Fox Valley and learn more about all we have to offer you and our community!