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Why Community Banking Matters

April 2, 2020 By: Great Midwest Bank
Two female Great Midwest Bank employees review a paper document seated at a wooden table.

Great Midwest Bank takes considerable pride in being a family-run, community-owned bank. Now more than ever, we understand what our customers and communities are going through so we’d like to take this time explain why community banking matters.

At community banks like Great Midwest Bank, decisions are made based on the specific needs of you, our customer. Community banking means we’re not driven by fees and answering to stakeholders. At the end of the day, what’s in your best interest is most often what’s in ours.

Having a great relationship with our customers is only one of the many benefits of choosing to bank with a community bank. Great Midwest Bank loves spreading the word about community banking. So for Independent Community Bankers of America’s (ICBA) Community Banking Month, we thought now would be a good time for to tip-our-hat to the nation’s more than 6,000 community banks and how they’re working hard to put community first and why community banks really matter in today’s banking world.

What Sets Community Banks Apart 

Simply Local: Unlike larger banks that may take deposits in one state and lend in other states, community banks channel their loans to the neighborhoods where their depositors live and work, which helps local businesses and communities thrive. Doesn’t that sound like how banking should be?

Relationship Banking: Community bank officers know their customers and may consider family history and discretionary spending when making loan decisions, usually leading to what we call a portfolio loan. All in all, community banks take a common-sense approach to lending and that goes a long way toward building lasting relationships within the community. 

Non-community banks aren’t interested in developing a relationship with its customers or depositors.  

Innovation: Community banks like Great Midwest Bank work with their customers to ensure they have access to innovative products and services while partnering with and investing in financial technology providers. A prime example of community bank innovation is showcased through ICBA’s ThinkTECH Accelerator.

Timely Decision-Making: Community banks offer nimble decision-making on business loans because decisions are made locally and that benefits the whole community. Megabanks on the other hand, most often convene in loan-approval committees located in another state, far away from their customers. 

Community Engagement and Accessibility: Community bank officers are typically deeply involved in their local communities, while megabank officers are often detached from the communities where their branches are located. At Great Midwest Bank, we started our Simply Giving initiative as a platform for giving back to local communities through volunteering, educating, and donating throughout the year.

Community banks only thrive when their customers and communities flourish; they answer to you and the community. Megabanks are driven by shareholder value and answers to Wall Street.

3 Reasons to Bank Locally

1. Community banks respect and honor their community ties.

Community banks and local communities have a dependent relationship—one cannot thrive without the other. This becomes most evident during challenging times that affect the community directly. 

2. Community banks are relationship bankers.

We take the time to get to know our customers and understand their financial needs. Often, our staffers are encouraged to serve customers more than their counterparts at larger banks. Additionally, we’re an excellent source for advice and information on your overall financial well-being.

3. Community banks offer convenient and modern services.

Online banking and mobile app help local customers stay on top of their finances wherever and whenever with the comfort of knowing a person is always available to help.

Community Banking Matters

Not so long ago, banking consisted of weekly trips to the bank. A face-to-face meeting with smiles and “How’s your day?” conversations inside a local branch. Even a quick trip through the drive-thru feels like visiting a friend for a quick chat. Today, we understand people handle most of their banking online and via our mobile app, we want to assure you that our commitment to friendly assistance is not going away. Being community owned and customer-focused means giving our customers that local experience wherever there are.

If you’re already banking with a community bank, thank you. We appreciate it. Your community applauds you, too. However, if you’ve banked with those big guys, it’s ok. We hope this article helped you get a better understanding of the benefits of a community bank. And maybe you’d consider making Great Midwest Bank your community bank.

Posted in  Brand & Philosophy