It’s time to take a look at what your bank is doing for you. Why are you paying them so much money? What do they do with it? Look below and find out why local banking is better than big banks and how you can get out from under the thumb of those mega-banks.
People who live in the community have a much better idea of what is happening on Main Street than people at a national level. Getting local bankers involved early and often in your application process helps you determine the best types of financing options available, especially if you’re looking for small-business loans.
Local banks know small-business owners like they know their own family members.
“We understand that everyone has different needs, which means that every business is unique,” states Angie Poppe, Chief Lending Officer at HOMEBANK. “Local bankers know customers better than what they can show on a loan application. It’s essential to find a lending professional who knows how to identify your individual strengths and how those strengths can help achieve your goals.”
Smaller banks are also more supportive during tough times. They’re personally invested in your success – not just because it means they’ll get paid back but because they are your friends, too – so they’ll stick with you when the going gets tough.
Local bankers make decisions based on their knowledge of the local economy, as well as the bank’s assessment of market opportunities. They also have access to extensive financial information about their customers’ business operations so they can assess loan risk more accurately than their big bank counterparts.
“Local bankers know the unique challenges found in their own neighborhoods, and they are distinctively able to provide the products and services that meet those needs.” Comments Joe Thomas, CEO at HOMEBANK. ” HOMEBANK is committed to promoting not only individual businesses, but our community’s economic development as a whole.”
Local bankers look out their windows; they know how many cattle are grazing in their neighbors’ fields, they know when a community needs more childcare or healthcare services, they recognize a business that is bursting at the seams. Local banks engage directly with the residents of their communities. A strong local bank is more likely to keep lending money in its community than one without ties to its region.
The bottom line: local bankers know more about lending locally because that’s what they do every day. They are your neighbors; professional staff behind the counters at small town banks belong to the customer.
Most local banks and bankers operate with the philosophy that they should give back to their communities in some way.
“In this era of mega-banks, it’s easy to forget that local bankers are a key part of their communities and are willing to give back in more ways than just bringing business to the local area,” reflects Caly Cramsey, CFO at HOMEBANK. “We have employees who sit on the boards of nonprofit organizations, who volunteer for our hospitals and chambers of commerce, who are active members in our Rotary, Kiwanis, Exchange and other community service organizations. They organize benefits for our local schools and veterans, and they participate in church activities. Everyone plays a part, and HOMEBANK supports that with donations and paid time away from work. The mega-banks can’t do that.
“Banking is a profession, not a business, hence it will always have its place in our communities,” Cramsey continues. “Our employees and customers work together for the common good of the community.”
For their part, local banks commit to meeting the full range of community banking needs by offering a depth and breadth of products, combined with outstanding personalized service. They also are known for monetary donations to local organizations, involvement in economic development projects and financial literacy initiatives.
Local bankers know how important it is to create a banking relationship that’s welcoming, open, and honest – the kind where you feel like you’re treated as an individual rather than a number or dollar sign. That’s why HOMEBANK team members make it their job to get to know every person they work with, whether they’re just opening up an account or are loyal customers who have banked with us for years.
You’ll be able to ask a quick question of your local banker when you see them at sporting events, community festivals or your corner grocery store. HOMEBANK lenders even give out their cell phone numbers so you can call or text them in the evenings or on weekends. You can’t get that with a mega-bank from the east or west coast. Local bankers know that questions come up outside of normal hours.
How many times have you gotten lost in the automated answering machines at a mega-bank? Did you know the name of the person or department who could help you so you could enter in that extension? Probably not. With a local bank, it’s much easier to get a human on the other end of the phone.
Local bankers also tend to stay with their companies for many years, increasing their banking knowledge and connections. Your mortgage lender can connect you with someone who can help you with a business account and someone else who can set you up with an Individual Retirement Account. Local banks are full-service.
HOMEBANK offers an easy-to-use mobile banking app with electronic check deposit and person-to-person transfers (such as Venmo ®), online banking for consumers and business, 24/7 phone access, online chat and even account opening and loan applications with electronic signatures through the HOMEBANK website. Local banks can provide all the bells and whistles of the mega-banks with local employees who can answer questions, verify your actions … and fix your mistakes … immediately.
It can feel like a big deal to switch your accounts to a local bank. We get that. Honestly, though, it’s not as difficult as you fear (because there are plenty of local humans to help you) and the benefits of banking with a local institution far surpass the minutes it will take you to switch. Let HOMEBANK help you. Call us today.