Community banks focus attention on the needs of local families, businesses and farmers. Conversely, many of the nation's megabanks are structured to place a priority on serving large corporations.
Unlike many larger banks that may take deposits in one state and lend in others, community banks channel most of their loans to the neighborhoods where their depositors live and work, helping to keep local communities vibrant and growing.
Community bank officers are generally accessible to their customers on-site. CEOs at megabanks are often headquartered in office suites, away from daily customer dealings.
Community bank officers are typically deeply involved in local community affairs, while large-bank officers are likely to be detached physically and emotionally from the communities where their branches are located.
Many community banks are willing to consider character, family history and discretionary spending in making loans. Megabanks, on the other hand, often apply impersonal qualification criteria, such as credit scoring, to all loan decisions without regard to individual circumstances.
Community banks offer nimble decision-making on business loans because decisions are made locally. Megabanks must often convene loan-approval committees in another state.
Because community banks are themselves small businesses, they understand the needs of small-business owners. Their core concern is lending to small businesses and farms. The core concern of the mega banks is corporate America.