Choosing a bank for your personal banking should be a relatively easy process, but in truth, that process gets more difficult with each passing day. Stories of banks at risk of failing, bank mergers making it difficult to know what company will own your bank six months from now, and continued reports of greed in financial institutions are making the decision to choose a bank even harder. Many people are looking at their own financial institution and questioning how their bank works for them, because sometimes it seems as though they are working for the bank. If you are considering changing financial institutions, follow these simple guidelines to determine what your bank has done for you lately.
Promoting the Community
Without question, the United States is still struggling in a recession and the news is full of stories about people who are out of work and struggling to make ends meet. Community banks, such as Independent Bank, are committed to the local community. The managers of community banks are committed to serving the local community, and by re-investing local deposits in the businesses in their community, they are able to help create jobs and build the local economy. When choosing a financial institution for your personal banking, ask how your bank invests locally in order to determine how they benefit you and your community.
Personal banking should be just that – Bankers should know you as more than just an account number. They should have a genuine interest in your financial well-being! That being said, what has your bank done for you? Do you talk to a machine when you call the branch or get lost in a maze of electronic responses? While the big banks tend to use this approach when helping customers, community bankers like to do things differently. Local bankers take time to get to know their customers by name, tailoring loans, products and services to their specific financial needs. This makes customers feel at ease, knowing their money is being handled by people who care about their financial growth and stability. Whether it is a friendly face when you walk in the branch or a kind voice of the phone, community banks pride themselves on providing the highest level of personal service to their customers…their neighbors and friends.
National banks have tightened the purse strings when it comes to lending, and many have raised loan rates or established such stringent qualification requirements that most businesses and individuals can’t qualify or afford them. However, community banks, such as Independent Bank, are able to tailor services for customers because they know their clients on a more personal basis. Community bankers and decision-makers interact directly with customers and understand local conditions and economies. For this reason, they are more likely to offer loans at better rates and even minimize the risk to the bank because of their knowledge of the community and their customers.