Despite that a community bank may look just like any other financial institution to the average consumer, their numbers are on the decline. Fifteen years ago, there were more than 8,000 community banks in the United States. Today, there are only about 5,000 left.
Consolidation, steep competition and ever-increasing consumer demands have put a lot of pressure on these smaller financial institutions, many of which have been engrained in their local communities for decades and even employ generations of family members. As a result, many have closed their doors or teamed up with other banks.
But in our current world of consumers wanting to be part of their local everything, community banks offer a unique way for consumers to “bank local.”
Like small businesses, community banks are an important part of our financial system. Here’s a closer look at the “buy local” vibe that makes community banks unique, and what consumers need to know about these financial institutions. Read the full article at Forbes here.