Things to Consider Before Choosing a Community Bank

There are many reasons to bank at a local bank. You might want to help the local economy, or you may need a banker who is familiar with your area. You might just be looking for excellent customer service. It doesn’t matter what reason you have; it is important to look at all options when looking for a bank.

There are approximately 5,000 banks in America, with the majority being community banks like Idaho banking. A customer’s personal proximity to a branch does not necessarily indicate how much of a community/local bank it is. Plus, with mobile and online banking more commonplace now, you are always near your bank.

Choosing a bank is an important decision. This article discusses factors to look for when choosing a community-focused bank.

Customer Service, Availability, and Other Services

Customer service is crucial. Poor customer service can cost you both time and money as a customer, not to mention the frustration it also brings. Most community banks build great interpersonal relationships with their customers. However, you still want to ask your friends and family if they have dealt with the bank you are interested in. It’s always good to get first-hand information if you can.


Fees are often influenced by your banking habits. It pays to be aware of the static fees and those that banks charge. Some fees might be associated with your balance, ATM usage, and/or activity in the account.

Does the Bank Invest in Community Projects?

Once you have narrowed down a list of banks located in the area you care about, it is time to assess each bank’s performance in community investment. Although there are many ways that a bank can demonstrate its commitment to the community, consider what the bank’s investment is and how important its responsibility is to you.

Each bank is different, so this measure doesn’t necessarily reflect the bank’s overall social and environmental impact. You can always contact a bank to learn more about their ownership and investment strategy in the community. Suppose you are concerned that your bank will invest your funds in local, main-street initiatives. In that case, it is important not to overlook the performance of community investing.

What Are the Statistics of Top Banks in Your Community?

Another step in choosing a community bank is to decide which geographic area is important to you. This doesn’t have to be your home, but it could be. What is the best place for decision-makers? Are you looking for regional bankers? Where do you want your money to circulate? What locations do you need to have access to branches? Next, find out which banks are located in the most important location to you.

Because banks are required to report where their money is located to regulators, this information is made public. Banks report specific information about the locations of deposits in branches.


As you can see, a lot goes into deciding what bank you will use. It pays to research your choices, so you are comfortable with trusting them with your money.