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ICBA: Go Local During Community Banking Month

April is Community Banking Month

Washington, D.C. (April 2, 2012)—April is Community Banking Month, and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and its nearly 5,000 community bank members are encouraging consumers and small business owners to Go Local by banking locally with a community bank. Because community banks put local deposits back to work in the community, and are financial first responders both in good times and in bad, consumers will be reinvesting in their neighborhood and making it a better place to live and work for generations to come.

States, local governments, and community banks recognize Community Banking Month. Some community banks partner with local charities to host special events, while others promote economic development initiatives. Many community banks traditionally mark the month by highlighting their community service or financial education programs.

“Community banks proudly embody the American spirit of Main Street by lending to local small business owners, helping area families achieve financial stability and enabling their local economy and community to thrive. And this isn’t a new phenomenon. Many community banks have been around for over a hundred years, and like mine, many are still family owned and operated,” said Jeff Gerhart, ICBA chairman and chairman of Bank of Newman Grove, Neb. “I’m so proud to be a community banker and I’m thrilled to celebrate Community Banking Month by encouraging consumers and small business owners to Go Local so they too can realize the benefits of banking locally, and make a real difference in their community and local economy.”

By driving local economies and creating local jobs, community banks are an integral part of our nation’s financial system. Of the more than 7,000 community banks across the country, nearly 5,000 are ICBA members. Representing more than 24,000 locations nationwide and employing nearly 300,000 Americans, ICBA members hold more than $1.2 trillion in assets, $1 trillion in deposits, and nearly $750 billion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community. Located in small towns, suburbia and big-city neighborhoods, community banks improve the nation’s communities by lending to local customers and funding nearly 60 percent of all small businesses under $1 million.

“As small businesses themselves, community banks are relationship lenders that only thrive when their customers and communities do the same, so taking care of their customers and looking out for the best interest of their community is the way they do business,” said Camden R. Fine, ICBA president and CEO.

Fine went on to say that he encourages consumers to make Community Banking Month a reason to find their local community bank. He said consumers can do so by visiting ICBA’s Community Bank Locator at www.banklocally.org. “Simply type in your zip code and the app will show you all the community banks in your area. You can even download free ICBA locator apps for your iPhone, Android or Blackberry,” he said. “We’ve made it simple so all you need to do go down the street, meet with a community banker face-to-face and see if making the switch is right for you.”

To follow the conversation on Community Banking Month, follow the hashtag #golocal on Twitter. To learn more about community banks, please click on the following links or visit www.icba.org.

Benefits of Community Banks
Community Bank Facts
Go Local Initiative