We’ve all heard the saying “it takes a village” to describe a major feat or accomplishment, derived from the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
For April’s Community Banking Month, we want to remind our customers and neighbors that it takes a community bank to raise a village. Our core belief is that strong community banks build stronger communities. Our purpose is dedicated to the financial support and stability of the people in our direct vicinity, not strangers across the country. We focus on serving the people right in our backyard so we can celebrate every goal reached, together.
The Difference is Clear
Past Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke said, “There is a real place for the customization and flexibility that community banks can exercise to meet the needs of local communities and small business customers.”
Community banks have the unique privilege to serve as champions of small businesses, farms, and real estate transactions that create jobs and fuel prosperity in every locality in America. They provide low-cost banking and high-value financial support that larger institutions do not. Your loan decisions are not made through algorithms and computer models miles away; they’re made by real people who have built real relationships and have a finger on the pulse of the local economy.
Community Banking by the Numbers
A white paper recently published by Buzzpoints calls community banks “America’s Favorite Lenders”, as the play a vital role in financing and strengthening local economies by providing loans that support local individuals and organizations.
Big banks control 87% of cash flow in the banking system, however, only 55% of that money is accounted for small business loans. In contrast, of our 13% of industry assets, 45% of it is for small business loans. It is our commercial lenders greatest pleasure to provide financial support and guidance to the small businesses that keep our hometown growing. You’ll often find us doing business with them outside of work too!
In rural areas, much like the Roanoke and New River Valley’s surrounding areas, community banks account for 58% of banking offices and 49% of all deposits. In smaller metro areas like our hometown headquarters, community banks operate 31% of banking offices and 23% of deposits. As the largest community bank headquartered in Roanoke, we embraced the responsibility of reaching over half a billion dollars in assets for our community and will continue to do so generously and responsibly.
HomeTown’s Staying Power
In 2005, our founders came together to strive for a healthy marketplace in our local economy. Since then our overall assets, gross loans, and core revenue have steadily grown, along with the economy of the areas we serve.
When the financial crisis hit in late 2007-early 2008, our bank was not implicated by the issues that most larger banks faced due to risky mortgage loans and the packaging of bad loans by Wall Street. Community banks actually saw an increase in small business lending during the following recession. Our personalized, relationship-based business model provides us with the cushion of goodwill and quality relationships.
The health of our local economies snowballs into the health of a national economy. Small community banks are essential to prosperity in the future. Community banks know that people live and work locally. People buy homes locally. So why not bank locally too? If you aren’t a HomeTown customer yet, will you join us in the pursuit of a strong local economy?