While it’s no secret that large banks play a vital role in the strength of our economy, regional and community banks are just as indispensable, serving customers in neighborhoods, towns and cities across the country. “The core of the U.S. banking system lies in community and regional banks that have strong relationships with their clients,” according to a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed. “They serve a diverse array of customers and businesses and are deeply invested in their communities.” These banks are so community-minded, in fact, that they make up 60% of all small business loans and more than 80% of farm loans, according to recent data.
Given the recent wave of banking news making national headlines, what better time to launch a campaign, aptly named “Now, More than Ever” to deliver a timely message to consumers? To raise awareness about the benefits of community banking, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) has launched a public awareness program that shows how community banks differ from large banks, credit unions and other financial institutions, and encourages Americans to find their closest community bank at BankLocally.org. ICBA is supporting participating banks by providing market research, creative advertising, public relations, and media strategy.
“ICBA is investing big in the future of community banking with the launch of this consumer-driven public awareness campaign,” says ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey in a press announcement. “Now more than ever, we must shine a light on the unmistakably different business model that is community banking and introduce it as a clear choice to America’s consumers.” The community banking model provides distinct benefits to consumers who prioritize their local communities with banks that are “well capitalized and more conservative in their approach,” according to a recent Forbes feature.
“Consumers deserve to know that they have a safe, sound and secure community banking option in their own community that can be their financial advocate for life,” says Rebeca Romero Rainey. “Together with our community bank members, we will make a difference and shine a light on all that is well and good in community banking.” Community banks interested in participating in the “Now, More than Ever” campaign can get market-tested resources to customize to their own institutions. To spread the community banking message, member banks can download the toolkit at icba.org/campaign.
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