Want to keep more of your local money in local markets? Want to improve access to loans for your business owners? Want to build community pride and community support?
Community-based, local banks and financial institutions provide all of this and more — but they need our help to thrive in today’s market. And when they thrive, our communities do as well.
Why Choose an Independent Local Bank or Credit Union?
Most locally owned banks and credit unions offer the same array of services, from online bill paying to debit and credit cards, at much lower cost than big baks, according to national data.
Studies show that small financial institutions typically offer better interest rates on savings and better terms on credit cards and other loans.
Your Money Will Build Your Local Economy
Small businesses, which create the majority of new jobs depend heavily on small, local banks for financing. Although small and mid-sized banks and credit unions control less than one-quarter of all bank assets, they account for 60% of all small business lending! The more money controlled by big banks, the less funding is accessible to small business.
Keep Decision Making Local
At local banks and credit unions, loan approvals and other key decisions are made locally by people who live in the community, have face-to-face relationships with their customers, and understand local needs. Because of this personal knowledge, local financial institutions are often able to approve small business and other loans that big banks would reject.
Back Institutions that Share a Commitment to your Community
The fortunes of local banks and credit unions are intimately tied to the fortunes of their local communities. The more the community prospers, the more the local bank benefits. This is why many local banks and credit unions are involved in their communities. Big banks, in contrast, are not tethered to the places where they operate. Indeed, they often use a community’s deposits to invest in global speculative funds.
Support Productive Investment, Not Gambling
The primary activity of almost all small banks and credit unions is to turn deposits into loans and other productive investments. Meanwhile, big banks devote a sizeable share of their resources to speculative trading and other Wall Street bets. While these may generate big profits for the bank, they provide little economic or social value for the rest of us and put our entire financial system at risk.
Adapted from the Institute for Local Self Reliance
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