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April is Community
Banking Month

by Amanda Krueger

Protecting Stacked Banknotes Surrounded By Human Figures

The first bank in the United States was established in the late 1700s and evolved to a “community bank” concept in the mid-1800s, making banking more local. Community banks are typically locally owned and operated and provide the greatest source of funding for small business. April is National Community Banking Month, when we celebrate and recognize our local community banks for their positive influence in the communities they serve.

Community banks are known for our local decision-making model, with decisions typically made right within our community and not at a distant corporate office. We are more willing to back local projects and businesses, allowing smaller communities to grow and thrive. Supporting local events and nonprofits is what community banks do, offering opportunity for a better standard of living for our residents. We know our clients by name, develop relationships, and care about their well-being.

As financial first responders, community banks serve as pillars of support for clients through good and challenging times. Collectively, community banks make more than 60 percent of small-business loans, more than 80 percent of agriculture loans, and contribute tax dollars that help maintain local municipalities. Community banks:

  • Are America’s most trusted lenders and have an 81 percent net satisfaction score compared to 68 percent for large banks and just 43 percent for online lenders, according to a Federal Reserve study.
  • Are committed lenders with loan growth that has outpaced noncommunity banks for nine years.
  • Demonstrate safety and soundness with higher capital ratios and better loan quality than the largest institutions.
  • Offer high-touch, high-tech service. This gives consumers access to modern-day conveniences while maintaining the high-quality customer service for which community banks are known.
  • Have a track record in helping underserved Americans by providing greater flexibility to low-income and minority borrowers.
  • Understand and embrace local small businesses. In fact, community banks made 60 percent of total Paycheck Protection Program loans to small businesses and provided 72 percent of PPP loans to minority business owners that reported such data.
  • Give back to their communities. Civic service is a way of life for community bankers as reflected in ICBA’s National Community Bank Service Awards.

For more facts about community banks, click here.

“As a local community bank, we are focused on the success of our clients and community. Being a small business ourselves, we understand the challenges that our clients face and provide financial expertise to help them achieve their financial dreams, while strengthening the local economy,” said Paul Northway, President and CEO, American National Bank Fox Cities (ANB). ANB invites business owners to reach out and learn more about how we can better serve them throughout their financial journey and put their hard-earned dollars to work in the community we all call home. American National Bank Fox Cities is proud to fuel opportunity in our community.