Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Stop Acting Like A Bank. You're Embarrassing Me!

As I was paging through the November 2009 issue of Bank Technology News I came across the following news blurb:

"A poll of 18 to 29 year olds in the U.S. funded by Microsoft found that about half feel the banking industry is in touch with their generation; and about 60 percent say their level of trust in financial services has decreased over the past year. When asked how banks can improve trust, 27 percent said blogs would be very important, while 42 percent said it would be somewhat important. And 75 percent were in favor of monthly email updates."

As you can imagine, I was pleasantly surprised to know that we were on the right track when we decided to launch this blog.

I have been a banker for most of my adult life. When I wasn't a banker I was a bank examiner or a bank consultant. As such, banking has been at the center of my professional life for nearly 20 years. During this time I have focused almost entirely on community banking.

Based on my experience, what I can tell you is that community bankers are Main Street, not Wall Street. We coach the local AYSO team, we shop at the local Walmart, we eat hot dogs at the local little league games, we hang out at the local pub and we drive our own cars. And most importantly, we do not single-handedly threaten the viability of the American banking system. Unforunately, the everyday bank customer does not know the difference between a community bank and a big bank

When I started this blog a couple months ago I wanted to share a little bit of the Bank in an informal setting. Along the way I hoped to give readers a glimpse into the "personal" side of the Bank. I hope I am doing that. But more importantly, I hope that readers are starting to see that community banks are more like the corner drugstore than the trillion dollar bank. We TRULY stand behind the community. But more importantly, we thrive only if the local community thrives. So we are fully vested and all in.

Through this blog, therefore, I hope to accomplish a couple things. First, I wish to reach out to the millenials who feel we have no clue. We get it. We know you demand more than what your dad's bank gave you. And community banks are here to let you know we get it. Some of us move faster than others, but we get it.

Second, I hope to show you that community banks make a REAL difference in the community. We may not have the budgets that big banks have but you can always count on us to support the community and its various efforts. We are built around the community, through good times and bad. We don't just close the doors and move to the next town when things get tough. We stay and struggle with everyone else to get things back on track.

So, the next time you need a loan or need to open a new deposit account, ask yourself if having a branch on every corner in every state is better than supporting the local bank that is a part of the local fabric.  And if you're a millenial, feel free to send out a tweet about it.

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