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April is Community Banking Month

Published on April 05, 2023

April is Community Banking Month

This month is Community Banking Month, a time dedicated to bringing awareness to what community banking is and why it is so important.

Firstly, let’s look at what the term “community bank” means.

A “community” describes places and the people in them. With a very basic definition, a “bank” is a place for customers to keep their money (deposits) safe, take out loans when they need to purchase something or want to grow a business and provide a way to transfer money by ways of checks and digital means. “Community banks” combine the two terms. Banks like Queensborough provide all the financial services our customers need, while also focusing on our local communities and how we can make them better. With local leadership vested in our communities, community banks have more flexibility, are able to make decisions locally and are relationship-centered.

Recently, we sat down with Queensborough’s Regional Managers – Adam Harris, Dagan Sharpe and Mike English. As the folks on the front lines of our bank, they provide a unique barometer on what challenges and trends our customers are facing and what role community banks play.

We aim to serve everyone.

 

“As a Community Bank, a key differentiator is that we do not want to ‘qualify’ a customer based on their net worth to be eligible for our wealth management services — we want to serve everyone,” says Dagan Sharpe, Wealth Management Director and Rural Markets Region Manager.

 

Community banks are essential because they know our customers well, which provides us a unique opportunity for future growth in underserved rural and urban communities. Additionally, community banks are key providers of niche services, giving local businesses and entrepreneurs a chance to grow local economies with local money.

 

We’re relationship-focused.

 

“There's still a need for person-to-person interaction. Customers don’t want to stop at just being able to fulfill their banking needs; they look to us for guidance and consulting to steer them through the ups and downs of the economy and their specific financial needs. It’s no surprise the role of the “brick-and-mortar” office is changing from being more of a transaction center to an education center,” says Mike English, Senior VP and Coastal Region Manager.

 

Community banks can provide a local branch office network to better serve our customers. The personal interaction offered by local banks makes them more than a transaction center. Conversations with financial experts can help customers understand the benefits of investment and wealth management opportunities. At the same time, customers have access to mobile banking for time savings and convenience.

 

We provide next-level service.

 

Adam Harris, Senior VP and Regional Manager of the Augusta and Thomson markets, acknowledges the high level of experience of the bank’s lenders, who average about 15 years of experience in his market. He believes that their experience weathering COVID and the 2008 financial crisis gives their customers a strong advantage when facing any potential challenges by having access to experts that took the time to match lending solutions with their particular situation.

“For 2023, there’s a huge opportunity for growth. Community banking can provide a much higher level of service than large institutions. Plus, we offer a lot more than the average community bank, thanks to our experience,” says Adam Harris.

Just like every other industry that serves entire communities, technology in the banking industry is also advancing rapidly. As a community bank, it’s important to note that Queensborough has proactively made significant investments in adopting or developing technology to compete with online and national banks. Now, Queensborough can accomplish much of what larger banks do. At the same time, as a local bank, it is more closely integrated within communities throughout Georgia.

At Queensborough National Bank & Trust, we’re proud to have all the technology “bells and whistles” of larger banks. However, the focus remains on providing access to these services for a larger percentage of our customers. For example, anyone with a desire and willingness can take advantage of the bank’s wealth management services. As many larger institutions and firms implement high-account minimums, it’s nice to know that Queensborough is here for everyone who wants to plan for a better tomorrow. 

Contact us online to find out more about how you or your business can benefit from a partnership with your local Queensborough branch.

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Author: Sarah Beth McMillan

Categories: Community

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