Washington, D.C. (April 1, 2022) — The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) is honoring the contributions of the nation’s nearly 5,000 community banks during April, which is ICBA Community Banking Month. ICBA recognizes the incomparable service and dedication of community banks, which benefits their customers and communities in a multitude of meaningful ways.
“Community bankers are nimble and resourceful problem solvers that are fully committed to fostering their customers’ success while enhancing the economic health and resiliency of their communities,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “Community bankers are much more than financial transactors: They are financial stewards that take pride in providing the best possible financial products and services to customers with a demonstrated commitment to making their communities they best they can be. It is a holistic approach to banking that makes community banking unique and sought after.”
Community banks make up 99% of all banks and fund more than 60% of small-business loans and more than 80% of agriculture loans. Unlike credit unions, they contribute tax dollars that help maintain local municipalities and keep local neighborhoods viable and vibrant. Community banks are also:
- Favored by small businesses, earning a 76% satisfaction score compared to 62% for large banks, 46% for finance companies and 39% for online lenders.
- Reliable lenders with loan growth that has outpaced noncommunity banks for nine years and with higher capital ratios and better loan quality than the largest institutions.
- Flexible and responsive, considering more than an algorithm or credit score, but consumers’ financial history and goals when determining suitable products and services.
- Nimble for today’s needs, offering modern-day conveniences and technical capabilities while maintaining the personal service standards that distinguish community banks as relationship lenders.
- Connected to community, focusing a relatively large share of their resources in low- and moderate-income tracts. In fact, they made more than 90% of Paycheck Protection Program loans during the COVID-19 pandemic to communities with an average household income under $40,000.
- Civic leaders, who give back to the community, serving on local boards and nonprofits and donating resources to charitable causes.
- Available and accessible, with 50,000 locations, community banks are often just a few miles away, so consumers can bank how, when or where they want.
- There for communities in need,serving 93% of majority-minority communities and 96% of low-income designated counties.
“Community banks go the extra mile to provide ‘wow moments’ for their customers every day," ICBA Chairman and President, CEO and Senior Lender at Community Spirit Bank Brad Bolton said. "I'm proud to be a community banker and to join my fellow bankers across the country working to ensure financial prosperity for all Americans—today, tomorrow and into the future.”
ICBA pays tribute to community banks for their ongoing contributions to their communities with the ICBA National Community Bank Service Awards. Learn more about community banking and find a community bank near you at www.banklocally.org.
The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) is the nation’s voice for community banks with its mission to create and promote an environment where community banks flourish. We are dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and innovative products and services.
With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute roughly 99 percent of all banks, employ nearly 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding nearly $5.9 trillion in assets, over $4.9 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.5 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation, and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.