Buy Local, Bank Local Jun 06, 2011, 9:16 am By Emily Haleck

Buying local doesn’t apply just to the farmer’s market.

When you bank with a community bank like Bank of American Fork, you’re helping support your community by keeping your money local. Community banks accept deposits from local citizens and businesses and then loan that money right back out to other local citizens and businesses. Because community banks are generally locally owned and operated, profit made along the way is reinvested back into the local economy by local people instead of being accumulated by corporations in the big city. Most community banks also set aside a significant portion of profits to donate to community organizations and non-profits that improve the communities in which we live.

 Other reasons to bank locally:

Lower fees. In many cases, community banks offer the same services as big banks but at a lower cost.

Local decision-making. Loan applications go through a local committee rather than being sent off to a faraway board for approval. Decisions are based on the borrower’s total situation instead of a simple credit score. Local decision-making means faster turnaround by people who know your name.

Security. Community banks offer their customers the same amount of FDIC insurance as big banks do. In many cases, community banks have higher capital ratios than big banks, which is an important measure of financial strength and security.

Better service. Customer service is a top priority of community bankers, so don’t be surprised when you get access to a real, live person who will take your calls or meet with you to help you achieve your financial goals.

Responsibility and accountability. Main Street didn’t make the mistakes of Wall Street and was not a major contributor to the latest financial crisis. Community banks have always made and will continue to make responsible loans to credit-worthy customers, helping to keep depositors’ money safe and sound.

In many cases, community banks offer all the same services as big banks, but with unparalleled service and a greater local economic impact. Consumers are starting to realize this as they move their money from big banks to community banks. From 2009 to 2010, community banks’ share of checking accounts grew from 55% to 59%, according to Moebs Services. This year, that share is projected to grow to 65%. Read more about the trend in this Huffington Post article and consider moving your money to a community bank like Bank of American Fork.

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