The COVID-19 pandemic forced financial well-being to the forefront for so many individuals and families around the country. People have lost their jobs and businesses, taken salary cuts, struggled with rent or mortgage payments, missed income due to illness, and so much more.

Through it all, community banks stood by their clients and offered the best options tailored to each person’s unique needs. This April marks Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) Community Banking Month to highlight community banks’ role with the economy, consumers, and surrounding communities.

“As a local small business ourselves, we are invested in building a legacy of prosperity for our clients, while enhancing the communities we all call home,” said Brian Hughes, Fremont Bank vice president and Fremont Bank Foundation president and executive director. “Fremont Bank invites Bay Area citizens to explore how we can help them throughout their financial journey as we work together to help them achieve their personal and business goals—all while keeping deposits local and boosting our neighborhoods.”

So, why choose a community bank over a large national bank? ICBA expanded on Brian’s comments and pointed out that community banks take in local deposits and redistribute them back into the community—making up more than 60 percent of small-business loans and more than 80 percent of agriculture loans. Consider that the next time you safely visit your favorite clothing boutique or go to the farmer’s market in your area. Community banks also contribute tax dollars that help maintain municipalities and keep neighborhoods thriving.

Community banks also:

  • Are America’s most trusted lenders and have a 73 percent net satisfaction score compared to 58 percent for large banks and just 37 percent for online lenders, according to a Federal Reserve study.
  • Are committed lenders with loan growth that has outpaced noncommunity banks for eight years.
  • Offer high-tech, high-touch service. This gives consumers access to modern-day conveniences while maintaining the high-quality customer service for which community banks are known.
  • Understand and embrace local small businesses. In fact, community banks make more than 60 percent of all small business loans under $1 million.

While the pandemic has caused a great deal of uncertainty, community banks create a secure and consistent environment for clients, big and small.

“The decision-makers at community banks are your neighbors, and there is no better time than now for local businesses and consumers to do business with a community bank,” Brian said. “Not only do community banks offer the same products and services as larger institutions, but they are home-grown and home-raised companies that are deeply integrated into the fabric of their local hometowns.”

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Source: ICBA