5 key advantages to choosing a local bank

Posted at 12:29 PM, Aug 14, 2017
and last updated 2018-08-20 10:50:48-04

With so many choices when it comes to choosing a bank, it can be particularly challenging to find the best fit for your needs.

When looking for a bank, it’s a good idea to look for a community-based institution. A local community bank will typically offer all the same products and services as the big banks, but with a more vested interest and commitment in the community. For the local banks, their success is directly tied to the success of the community it serves.

Here are some other reasons banking locally could be the best option for you.

Some local banks are customer-owned

There are a few local banks that are owned by their customers, and that means they have a bigger stake in you. For example, Eaton Federal is a mutual savings bank owned by customers, not shareholders. When shareholders own a company, a smaller group of people are in charge, and they don't even need to be customers when making decisions that affect customers. A community-owned bank has owners who are accountable to you — the clients — so customer service and your happiness are a priority.

Mortgages have flexibility

When going with a big bank, formulas determine whether you’re eligible for a mortgage, and what kind can be offered to you. A local bank has the flexibility to say yes to unconventional circumstances and make judgment calls based on living alongside you in the community, not solely on your numbers and scores. Local banks can service your mortgage for the life of your loan, so you won’t one day get a letter in the mail, saying you've been handed off to a company you’ve never heard of.

The same services cost less

Often small financial institutions offer the same services as big banks but choose to keep prices down. In fact, many local banks can offer better interest rates on loans and lower closing costs, account fees, and debit and credit card fees.



Local banks help the local economy

Small businesses, which continually support the economy by creating new jobs, are heavily reliant on local banks to finance their businesses. Community banks lend to more than half of all small businesses, while big banks have very little patience and money to allocate toward funding small business.

Decisions are made within the community

At local banks, the most important decisions are made by people in the community who are invested in the relationships they’ve built within that community. They have knowledge of the area and are able to make credit decisions that would oftentimes be rejected by big banks who aren’t aware of the local landscape.

The next time you find yourself looking for a new bank, consider a local community bank like Eaton Federal. Community-based institutions make all the difference.

Learn more about the advantages of a community bank by visiting the Independent Community Bankers of America.