Money, Politics, and Saving Our Democracy Banner

Sections
Home » Issues » Sustainable Happiness » Signs of Life :: Community Banks Weathering the Storm

Get a FREE Issue. Yes! I want to try YES! Magazine

Nonprofit. Independent. Subscriber-supported. DONATE. How you can support our work.

YES! by Email
Join over 78,000 others already signed up for FREE YES! news.
[SAMPLE]

Town Hall Sidebar

The YES! ChicoBag(R). Full-size tote that fits in your pocket!

 

Signs of Life :: Community Banks Weathering the Storm

ECONOMY

Community Banks Provide Safe Haven in Economic Storm

YES! Magazine graphic: Thumb Up
Community Banks posters
“Community Banks may not be “too big to fail,” but they are too important to be ignored!”

As the financial crisis continues, many people are turning away from the large corporate banks that have been targeted for government capital injection and bailout—and placing their money in community banks. In an informal survey released September 22, 36 percent of Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) members reported an increase in deposits.
Of the roughly 8,500 bank charters in the United States, 8,000 are held by community banks, which tend to be locally managed, cover relatively small geographical areas, and have under $1 billion in capital.

“The overwhelming message is that community banks didn’t have anything to do with the mess on Wall Street,” said Steve Verdier, senior vice president and director of congressional affairs at ICBA. “We made commonsense loans that people could pay back. The last thing that community bankers want to do is make a loan that is bad for the bank, the people, and the community.”

Community banks were attracting a growing number of customers even before the crash. ICBA reports that over the last three quarters, outstanding mortgage loans at community banks grew at an average of over 2 percent per quarter, compared to negligible growth for the industry overall. In the second quarter of 2008, the growth of commercial and industrial loans at community banks was nearly three times that of the overall industry, at around 3 percent.

As corporate banks continue to look shaky, community banks are an increasingly appealing option. In addition to providing FDIC deposit insurance, offered by all U.S. banks, community banks foster economic security for their entire communities because deposits are kept local.

“We know who we are lending to. We know the local economy. We know the house we’re lending on. If someone gets into trouble, we work with them,” says Jim Brown, president of Bank of Bennington in Vermont. With $250 million in capital and deposits up 20 percent over 2007, The Bank of Bennington is coming off the best year in its 91-year history, Brown reports.

—Anne Moore Odell is a freelance writer based in Brattleboro, VT.

 


 

Salil Shetty, director of the U.N. Millennium Campaign

“We will not stop mobilizing … until the Millennium Development Goals are achieved for the poorest people in the world.”

Salil Shetty, director of the U.N. Millennium Campaign, on a global day of action against poverty that drew 116 million people in more than 100 countries. The Millennium Development goals aim to halve poverty by 2015.


 

 

 


 

ALSO …

Call for Corporate Minimum Tax

A new report by the Government Accountability Office finds that nearly two-thirds of U.S. companies paid no corporate income taxes for at least one year between 1998 and 2005.

In October, both the Institute for Policy Studies and an editorial in The Boston Globe cited the GAO study, calling on Congress to enact a corporate minimum tax. They projected $60 billion in revenue from the tax, which they said could be used to stimulate the real economy.

 


 

More Signs of Life

 

 

ECONOMY
:: Community Banks Provide Safe Haven in Economic Storm
Also ...
Call for a Corporate Minimum Tax


CLIMATE
:: Climate Direct Action Wins Support
Also ...
IPCC says World Carbon Emissions Worsen
:: States Hold First Carbon Auction
Also ...
China's Green Long March

spacer

MIDDLE EAST
:: Iraqis Organize for Peaceful Elections
Also ...
Peace Activists Support Gaza

LATIN AMERICA
:: Bolivia Constitution Reform Likely
Also ...
Indigenous Success for Land Protection

 

Email Signup
Sustainable Happiness
Comment on this article

How to add a commentCommenting Policy

comments powered by Disqus


You won’t see any commercial ads in YES!, in print or on this website.
That means, we rely on support from our readers.

||   SUBSCRIBE    ||   GIVE A GIFT   ||   DONATE   ||
Independent. Nonprofit. Subscriber-supported.




Subscribe

Personal tools