Truth of the Trade: Community Banks

Keeping your money where your life is.

Robbie Roepstorff

It’s easy to judge another industry from the outside, with ideas formed by what we see on TV, hear on the news or experience through our friends. But not all stories and stereotypes are true. The best way to debunk myths about an industry? Turning to those who know it best.

 

The Myth:  Community banks can’t provide the services and conveniences to fulfill a business’s needs that a larger bank can.

 

The Truth: “Community banks are excellent for business clients,” says Robbie Roepstorff, president of Edison National Bank. Not only can many community banks offer the same traditional services as larger banks in terms of products, service and technology, but their specialized touches can also make up for their limited locations.

 

In addition to a full range of business services – such as checking accounts with remote deposit, cash management services, loans, mortgages, and mobile banking – Edison National Bank also provides courier deposit pickup services for business clients. “We go pick up the deposits so [companies] can keep employees in their place of business, because time is money for these businesses,” Roepstorff says.

 

“We’re always going to strive to find that better way of banking because we’re just not going to be a bank on every street corner like your larger money center banks are,” she adds.

 

As a smaller operation, community banks such as Edison National Bank tend to offer personalized attention, as well.

 

“At this community bank, you won’t hear voicemail during business hours,” Roepstorff says. “A lot of business clients think it’s the norm that when you call a larger regional bank, you’re going to get a call center to answer your questions. You’re not. You’re going to get your banker, who deals with you and knows you.”

 

Another plus? “To call yourself a community bank, you’re really chartered [in the area]. You are local people, you know the local market, so you can truly make banking about the customer,” Roepstorff says.

 

That’s not to say larger banks don’t provide good service or come with their own set of perks.

 

“The big banks do serve a purpose,” she says. “They do a lot of international things, so if you need to do things out of the country, the money center banks specialize in that because they have banks in all different [areas].”

 

But with all the banking technology available these days, business owners who split their time between states can often still do business with their community bank.

 

“With a community bank, you can be here for six months out of the year and leave for the Carolinas and still bank with us,” Roepstorff says.

 

And when it’s time to do business, it can be helpful to have someone you’re familiar with by your side.

 

“We work with our business clients through the bad times, not just the good times,” Roepstorff says. “It’s good to form a relationship with your community bank, because if you need them in those bad times, they’re going to be there for you.”