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ICBA Reminds Consumers that Community Banks Offer the Best Protection

Washington, D.C. (April 19, 2010)—Consumer protection is the cornerstone of community banking. As part of ICBA Community Banking Month, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) reminds consumers of the many ways community banks protect their customers and serve their local communities in cities and towns throughout America.

“During these unique times, it’s important to know that community banks continue to do what they’ve always done—look out for the best interest of their customers,” said Jim MacPhee, ICBA chairman and CEO of Kalamazoo County State Bank in Schoolcraft, Mich. “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and ICBA Community Banking Month gives ICBA’s community bank members an opportunity to showcase the many ways we put our customers’ interests first and foremost.”

ICBA wants consumers to know that community bank advantages include:

  • Quality service. Community banks focus on the needs of local families, small businesses and farmers.
  • Local deposits. Community banks lend in the communities where their depositors live and work, keeping local communities vibrant and growing.
  • Local Expertise. 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. In fact, community banks make almost half of all small-business loans in cities and towns throughout America.
  • Responsiveness. Community banks offer nimble decision-making on loans because their decisions are made locally. And community bank decision-makers are accessible to their customers in person.
  • Trust. Because their success depends on establishing long-term relationships, community banks always look out for the best interests of their customers. They work hard to deliver only the financial services and loans their customers truly need and want. Many community banks are willing to consider character, family history and discretionary spending in making loans.
  • Civic loyalty. Community bank officers are typically deeply involved in making their local communities better places to live.

Thousands of community banks recognize ICBA Community Banking Month in a variety of ways. Some partner with local charities to host special events, others promote economic development initiatives. Many community banks traditionally mark the month by expanding their community service or financial education programs. ICBA recognizes community banks with the most outstanding volunteer programs through the ICBA National Community Bank Service Awards. This year, seven community banks were honored. To learn more about the award winners, click here.

ICBA member community banks employ nearly 300,000 people in more than 20,000 locations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and two U.S. territories. Of the 8,000 community banks in America, nearly 5,000 are ICBA members.

For more information about ICBA and ICBA Community Banking Month, visit www.icba.org. To find a community bank, visit ICBA’s community bank locator by clicking here.