“It is not more bigness that should be our goal. We must attempt, rather, to bring people back to the warmth of community, to the worth of individual effort and responsibility, and of individuals working together as a community, to better their lives and their children’s future.”
– Robert F. Kennedy
Big national banks may have spent the past few decades pouring several billion dollars into creating brand recognition, but none of that investment goes where it really counts: your community. It has become common practice for megabanks to focus solely on profits. When you support a megabank, you’re sending your money far away from where it’s never going to get reinvested in your neighbors’ houses and businesses – unless your neighbors can pay a premium for the privilege of navigating a byzantine bureaucracy.
A local bank, on the other hand, will keep your money in your community where it belongs. This creates more jobs, thus creating a stronger local economy. But this isn’t the only value of a local bank. Give your local bank a college try, and you’ll see there are plenty of advantages to joining a financial institution that keeps the dollars of the community within the local community.
We wouldn’t suggest that getting a loan at a community bank is as easy as walking through the door. But whereas a megabank can only judge loan applicants according to their credit scores and a few other impersonal metrics, a local bank’s team takes the time to build relationships with customers and custom tailor our products based on these relationships. To the megabank, you’re a few numbers; to the local bank, you’re an actual person.
Nothing exemplifies the local bank’s personal touch better than the simple recognition you’ll receive from its team members. If they don’t already know you from seeing you around town, you’ll be on a first-name basis after just a couple of visits to their branch!
While a strict collaborative finance model precludes the intervention of a traditional financial institution, a local bank does adhere more closely to the exciting new model of lending than a megabank ever could. When you bring your money to a local bank, it’s far more likely to wind up paying for the new ovens at Mrs. Lindemann’s bakery or the new windows at Mr. Olson’s butcher shop than it could have had it gone to a national chain. Local banks also help to support the communities we serve by providing donations and sponsorships to local clubs, organizations, and youth activities. Beyond the monetary investments, community bankers are often actively involved in local volunteer opportunities which also greatly benefit the bank’s community.
A megabank will do just fine if one of the communities it formerly served perishes. Take Wells Fargo, as just one example, which has nearly 6,000 locations in the U.S. Do you think their bottom line is going to take a noticeable hit when urban decay and joblessness force them to shutter one of those branches?
But to a local bank, success is inseparable from the welfare of the community it serves. Their management has no good reason to deprive the very people they depend on to thrive. At heart, even if it’s for strictly selfish reasons, a local bank has every incentive to remain situated inside a healthy, thriving community. This is because most community bankers live in the communities they work, which further incentives the team members to help the community grow and thrive.
For local banks, their viability is inseparable from that of their community, which ensures that they keep their sights trained on following ethical, sustainable practices which ultimately work toward everyone’s benefit.
Big banks love their fees. The U.S. banking system made nearly $9 billion through overdraft fees in the year 2020 alone – and even those only contributed to a small percentage of its $147.8 billion in income.
In an era when banks are continually increasing their overdraft fees, local banks are keeping theirs at a minimum. Likewise, local banks characteristically offer more free accounts than their massive competitors. If you believe you shouldn’t have to pay for your money, then you’ll prefer the way the little guy does things!
A megabank can’t lend a penny without first going through the lengthy protocol and web of red tape created by their corporate headquarters. That means if Bob’s Towing needs a new truck, Bob is probably going to have to wait a while for it. But a local bank, which assesses its clients’ needs on a case-by-case basis – sans bureaucracy – can follow leaner guidelines which greatly speed up its response times.
Complete Suite of Services
Megabanks offer a wide range of apps and financial products. (Their torrent of ads will never let you forget it.) But despite not having the budget to boast about it, a local bank nevertheless offers the same types of accounts, insurance, wealth management, and digital services as any of its larger competitors, while keeping customer-minded service with real people at heart. Customers can be sure that they are not losing out on any exceptional banking products when they choose a local community bank for their banking needs.
If you live or do business in Central Minnesota, then the team behind Sherburne State Bank would like to show you the value of a local bank’s involvement in the community today. Whether you need a loan, wealth management services, or something as simple as a new checking account, then we welcome you to come to visit one of our locations in Becker, Monticello, or Princeton in person or contact us today!