July 14, 2024

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How to choose the ideal community bank in 3 simple steps

3 min read
ideal community bank


Community banks are frequently less glamorous than their larger colleagues, but they are typically just as safe because they lack the vast expenditures for television advertisements and billboards. Consumers, however, sometimes neglect community banks because they believe they won’t have the capacity to meet all of their banking demands.

Community banks can typically provide an entire range of services. Community banks frequently provide benefits and services that bigger banks cannot offer, such as greater interest rates on savings accounts or better lending terms. Here are some things to consider when it comes to community banking in Tennessee.

Obtain a list of banks focusing on the community that matters to you.

Determining which geographic region is essential to you is the first step in choosing a community bank.

  • What location do you want decision-makers to be in?
  • Do you require access to bankers with local knowledge?
  • Which neighborhoods do you want your money to be used in?
  • Which branches do you wish to access?

Next, ascertain which banks have their headquarters in the area that matters to you. While other banks might provide loans nationwide, certain banks only conduct business near their locations.

However, examining where money is headquartered might provide insight into the location of the bank’s leadership and reveal which regions are significant enough for the bank to open a branch there.

Compare what each bank contributes to communities directly.

Once you have a shortlist of banks with locations you care about, it’s essential to assess each bank’s performance in terms of community investment. If you can only judge one aspect when looking for a local bank, look at how much the bank directly finances communities. A bank may show its dedication to the community in various ways, such as through volunteering or sponsoring activities.

Banks must disclose how many loans they provide for various purposes, including houses, enterprises, farms, etc. This tool gathers public data and uses it to produce one community finance metric for each American bank. This indicator reveals what proportion of a bank’s total assets—its money—is used to support local economies through loans for homes, businesses, farms, and households, as well as public works loans and securities. However, this indicator may not fully represent a bank’s social or environmental impact because every bank has a unique operating model.

Verify if the bank provides the loans and accounts you require.

Every community bank should be able to accommodate your demands if your banking requirements are simple and you only require a checking and savings account. These requirements, however, can help you limit your alternatives if you anticipate needing a mortgage or a small business loan in the future (and if doing all of your banking with one institution is crucial to you).

Many bank comparison websites provide product details for the few banks that pay to be listed. However, since all banks disclose to the government the types of lending they conduct, it is feasible to compare banks fairly based on the kinds of loans and services you need.

The bottom line

If you have questions about a bank, you can always contact them to learn more about their ownership, community investment strategy, and other factors.

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