Published on August 14, 2019
Here’s why you should consider a community bank.
Local banks or community banks as they are also known, are a valuable option versus large national and regional banks, especially for small and medium-sized businesses and individuals. A community bank is a locally-owned and operated financial institution whose size is defined by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as having around $1 billion in assets. According to the Federal Reserve’s Small Business Credit Survey, community banks are the small business lender of choice.
Among the banks in South Florida in this category is Banesco USA, a banking institution with $1.3 billion in assets based in Coral Gables that serves the South Florida area with four business centers.
Banesco USA is known for bringing global expertise to local banking, providing a community bank attuned to the needs of a diverse and increasingly international community.
Today’s technology allows these smaller institutions to provide customers with state-of-the-art services on par with the bigger institutions but also boast a series of unique advantages. For example, Banesco USA can service clients with a wide range of personal and commercial needs and prides itself as being at the intersection of digital innovation, with a human touch.
It is not surprising then that according to the Federal Reserve’s Small Business Credit Survey, 73% of independent businesses that used community banks report they were satisfied with their overall experience, compared with 49% for large banks.
Given their size, community banks can often offer a more personalized service than their larger counterparts. They tend to have close ties to a community and a more intimate feel than national banks whose businesses tend towards large metropolitan areas and volume business. On the other hand, at a community bank, it is not unusual to work with the same people over many years, allowing them to get to know you and with that the ability to offer relevant services over time that align with your needs.
For example, when considering banks in South Florida, Banesco USA takes pride in offering Relationship Banking, providing customers a single point of service for a range of products and services.
Typically, community banks also have more flexibility in the decision-making process. This means that, for example, approval of a small business loan may take less time than one at a larger institution. Also, community banks in South Florida often are often better at taking local needs into consideration, as they’re leadership have first-hand knowledge of the local challenges and opportunities that small businesses have.
Headquartered in Coral Gables, Banesco USA’s team is right in the middle of the community they serve.
Community banks also may offer lower fees than big banks, but not always. Services like online bill paying, debit and credit cards checking accounts, savings accounts are often offered at a lower interest rate with better terms. Competitive services
Today, community banks can offer many of the same quality services and conveniences as larger banks like online and mobile banking. The difference is that these services are often tailored to the needs of the clients, making the banking experience better.
For example, Banesco’s USA digital offerings include:
Community banks are also community members, which means they tend to invest in the communities they serve. As part of the local economy, supporting small businesses, in particular, is of major importance. The Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) programs of a local bank will likely be focused on the needs of the community, rather than broader national causes. Therefore, supporting your local bank also translates to supporting your community.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, small businesses were also more likely to be approved for some form of a loan from community banks — 76%, compared to 58% at national banks.
Banesco’s USA CSR program is dedicated to local initiatives, giving not just money, but employees’ time, working hand in hand with the organizations they support. Some of the groups the bank currently works with are Voices for Children of Broward County, Kapow, St Jude Children Hospital and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).
In addition, Banesco has an integrated social responsibility strategy to address social, economic and environmental challenges in the area over the next five years through products and services, culture and operations. First-year efforts will focus on education and entrepreneurship. As part of this effort, the bank has partnered with Steps Up for Students, Cristo Rey Miami High School, and Junior Achievement.
Another example of how local banks work with communities is Banesco’s Corporate Work Study Program of Cristo Rey Miami High School. Through the program, students earn about half of their education, gain job experience, and realize the relevance of their education while providing real services to local businesses. Students work one day per week at Banesco to earn most of their tuition and gain valuable work experience for life after college.
Banking locally provides valuable advantages: personalized service, locally relevant products, and services, local decision making, and competitive rates.
Now that you learned more about banking locally; join our community at Banesco USA. You can reach one of our experienced personal bankers by calling +1 (888) 228-1597, or by visiting one of our convenient branch locations.