Community Banks Offer a More Personalized Experience

Author:     Tuesday, September 02, 2014 12:00 AM

When trying to decide what type of organization to trust with your hard-earned money, you will invariably have to make the decision between a community bank or a larger national bank. To be completely fair, large banks have their fair share of advantages. These banks are typically located in most major cities all over the country, so you would be hard pressed to find yourself without an ATM to use in the event that you needed one. Community banks, on the other hand, offer a significantly larger number of advantages over their national counterparts. One of the biggest advantages includes the much more personalized experience that they are capable of offering thanks to their very design.


Community banks were given that name for a reason: they are much smaller, more intimate financial experiences than their bigger counterparts. With a large national bank, it is very rare for a particular bank employee to establish any type of meaningful relationship with a customer. Large banks aren't beholden to the community, they are beholden to their shareholders. As a result, they tend to eschew a personal experience for a more unified one. Walking into a large branch of Bank A in Utah will yield much the same experience as walking into the a large branch from that same company in Denver, Colorado.


Community banks have the benefit of being smaller, which means that they are always working to gain customer's attention and loyalty. Community banks aren't operating on a for profit basis, which means that by their very design they need to offer a much more community centric and personalized experience when compared to those larger corporations. Community banks are capable of spending more time addressing any issues that you may have, for example.


Large banks have gone to great lengths in recent years to give customers the illusion of that personal experience. They think that by offering online banking capabilities (which community banks also offer), they can essentially get people to believe that they're giving customers a custom experience based on their own unique needs and personalities. In reality, limiting one's interaction with a financial institution isn't a personalized experience at all. It's a way for big banks to relieve the congestion that they might be dealing with.


If you go into a community bank to apply for a home loan, for example, you won't have to worry about whether or not your current financial situation fails to meet some arbitrary metric that was created by a corporate executive hundreds of miles away. The bank representative that you speak with will take the time to address your needs, go over any requirements you may have and even suggest certain alternatives that may be better suited for someone in your position. That kind of service is what a "personalized experience" actually is.

Source: BFI