Watching the banking industry over the last 20 years is a bit like watching Pac-Man. One big bank eats another bank and is then eaten by a larger bank. We’ve all seen familiar names vanish over the last 20 years and new ones rise quickly only to crumble before our eyes. Small business owners have a long tradition of knowing their banker, not just the big name on the door. Personal relationships were important as you protected and grew your small business. But banking became less and less personal as merger after merger took place. And now, I suspect, many of you don’t know your banker at all. That’s a shame.

Not surprisingly, as the banking industry has been hit hard with controversy and outright misconduct, your local community bank is waving its hand asking for your business. They may be the right choice especially as big lenders have tightened requirements for lending. Community banks are local so they invest in local businesses and they have lower overhead. Satisfaction rates among smaller banks are much higher than larger banks. Community bankers want to get to know you are and are often eager to fight for loans that other banks would immediately decline. As much as you want to have a relationship with your banker, community bankers want to have a relationship with you.

Take a moment, check your bank’s current safety rating and then consider taking a saunter down the road to your community bank. I’d be interested in hearing your story in the comments below.

Consumers are so outraged that an entire movement has built up around supporting small secure banks. Move Your Money ( is a grassroots campaign to encourage consumers to pull funds from their larger institutions, particularly the Big 6, and invest in local small banks. They have a bank/credit union locator that helps you find highly rated community banks near you.


by Steven Schlagel