Community Banks

Community banks have a strong commitment to their stakeholders: service to customers, support for employees, and a fair return to shareholders. Some with charters dating back to the 1800s have persevered through early money panics, the Great Depression, and subsequent recessions; others with shorter histories still experienced the farm crisis and S&L crisis. All have successfully adapted to deregulation, interstate banking, branch banking, new technology, and new competition.

Recognizing the need for banking services, historically, local citizens would organize a community bank, the de novo banks of their day. Following the recent consolidation in the banking industry, a new generation of bankers came to appreciate the need for locally owned, independent banks. De novo banks are community banks, in a way, but lack the history.

Local, independent ownership is one characteristic common to both the long-established community banks and the de novo banks. Such ownership allows the banks to focus on their customers, employees, and community to generate a fair return to their shareholders.

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