It seems that most banks today are calling themselves “community banks” no matter their size, the area where they are located, or the fact they are being publicly traded in the stock market. So, does that mean all banks are the same? How do you differentiate one from the other? Does it matter?
Last week, Jocelyn Lane, a Commercial/Consumer Loan Officer in Missoula, outlined the varying sizes and areas that banks cover today, from national/international banks and internet only banks to regional banks covering several states and regions.
What really is a “community bank”?
While definitions vary somewhat, here is how most people define a community bank:
- Focused on a specific area with a smaller footprint, say operating within one state verses multiple states or a particular region of the country.
- Employees you see when you come into the bank, as well as those behind-the-scenes, live and work in the communities they serve, not in another state or country.
- Jobs and salaries are local. A dollar earned in the community, stays in that community driving the local economy.
- Community bankers are able to provide a higher level of service and responsiveness at the local level. They have more autonomy to make decisions and serve their customers without the bureaucracy of larger banks.
- Decisions are focused on the long-term, and are not driven by quarterly earnings reports, analysts, and investors.
Based on these definitions, Stockman is a true community bank.
- We are focused on Montana and only Montana. Our company was founded by an eastern Montana farmer, rancher & business person, Bill Nefsy, more than 65 years ago. We are still owned by his family, the Coffee family, and remain focused on serving Montana.
- All of our 771 employees from the executive leaders, to managers, to those who work with customers all live and work in Montana. In fact, many were born and grew up in the communities they serve!
- Stockman employees spend their salaries in the Montana communities they serve, supporting schools and local businesses, helping to drive a healthy local economy. They also support a multitude of higher education opportunities and non-profits across the state.
- Our bankers are local, our locations are managed locally and our decisions are made locally. They are responsive and easy to contact, providing a high level of local service. We empower our bankers with the skills and tools to serve our customers. Because our bankers live in our communities, they possess knowledge of the community and local perspective cannot be replaced by a computer, regional “expert” or short term transplant.
- Our company and employees donated more than $1.3 million and several thousand volunteer hours in 2019, helping to make our Montana communities better places to live and work.
- We make decisions based upon the long-term best interest of our employees, customers, and communities by lending money to our customers supporting home ownership, family farms & ranches and small businesses. When you bank at Stockman, your money stays here to work for you and your community.
The choice is yours.
In summary, there are many different types of banks – internet, international, national, regional and community banks. As a business or consumer, the choice is yours. What do you want from your bank? If you want to work with a true community bank, we welcome you to call or stop by today. We look forward to meeting you and helping you meet your financial goals.