Community Banks Build Communities

Community banks are an integral part of Main Street—they reinvest local dollars and help create jobs in their communities. Their relationship banking philosophy is ingrained in the way they conduct business—one loan, one customer at a time. Local reinvestment helps small businesses grow and families finance major purchases and build financial security.

Community banks also are nimble in using new technology platforms, supporting new methods of payments and advocating tougher security standards to protect small-business owners and customers from hackers and other criminals.

What Sets Community Banks Apart  

  • Local Focus: Unlike larger banks that may take deposits in one state and lend in others, community banks channel their loans to the neighborhoods in which their depositors live and work, which helps local businesses and communities thrive.
  • Relationship Banking: Community bank officers know their customers and may consider family history and discretionary spending in making loans. Loan officers at megabanks apply impersonal qualification criteria, such as credit scoring, without regard to individual circumstances.
  • Provide Innovative Solutions: Community bankers also work hand in hand with customers to ensure they have access to the best innovations possible to meet their needs—such as the most secure, reliable and convenient payment options.
  • Lending Leadership to Small Business: According to the Federal Reserve’s 2016 Small Business Credit Survey: Report on Employer Firms, community banks are the small-business lender of choice.
  • Timely Decision-Making: Community banks offer nimble decision-making on business loans because decisions are made locally. Megabanks must often convene loan-approval committees that are located in another state, far away from their customers.
  • Community Engagement and Accessibility: Community bank officers are typically deeply involved in their local communities, while megabank officers are often detached from the communities where their branches are located.
  • Focus on Main Street: As local small businesses themselves, community banks only thrive when their customers and communities flourish. They answer to Main Street. Megabanks are driven by shareholder value and answer to Wall Street.

(Source: 2016 Small Business Credit Survey: Report on Employer Firms)

Community Banking Difference Infographic


"There are no 800 numbers. There are no video screens to 'chat' with. Customers and prospects have access to senior bank executives. Decisions are made locally and quickly…"

—Ronald D. Paul, chairman and CEO of Eagle Bank, Bethesda, Md.

Often referred to as America’s Favorite Lenders, community banks:

  • Comprise 99% of all banks
  • Provide more than 60% of all small-business loans to help create two out of three jobs nationwide
  • Make more than 80% of agricultural loans
  • Have roughly 52,000 locations across the country
  • Employ 760,000 people

To find your local community bank, visit ICBA’s community bank locator at

ICBA is the Nation’s Voice for Community Banks

The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for nearly 5,700 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services. With approximately 52,000 locations nationwide, community banks employ 760,000 Americans, hold $4.9 trillion in assets, $3.9 trillion in deposits, and $3.3 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses, and the agricultural community.

One Mission:
Create and Promote an Environment where Community Banks Flourish

Learn how ICBA supports community banks across the nation:

Member Benefits for Community Banks Member Benefits for Service Providers