But the country never fell out of love with the idea of a community bank. Those that have had the pleasure of dealing with them know that they can get better, personalised service from a community bank than they can at one of the dozens of nameless, faceless mega banks that are on every street corner, and they know that if they do have an issue that they are likely to have the opportunity to talk with the bank president about it, instead of having to rely on a manager whose hands are often tied.
This connection can help bring in business, but the opportunities that the big banks offer can sometimes outshine the charm of the experience you have in community banking. One way of coping with that difference is by placing yourself under a strategic umbrella. This allows you to maintain the essence of a community bank, while getting access to many of the services that only a multi-billion-dollar financial institution can offer.
Community involvement is also important. Put your customers in a position where every event they see brings a smile to their face because they see your logo under supporters. But even beyond financial contributions, getting your employees out and volunteering can benefit everyone. A community that knows that it isn’t just the organisation that supports them, but the people who work for it, too, are more likely to overlook services that bigger banks may offer and focus on the experience of bringing their banking to a community bank.
While perhaps the full ‘community banking experience’ of decades ago isn’t available, the bank provides a very worthwhile service to you, your employees, and the community as a whole, and it should never lose that special place in a community’s heart.