As a small business owner, who you choose to bank with is an important decision that will make the day-to-day administration of your business easier or harder. Lubbock commercial lending expert Kolby Kimbrough discusses some of the benefits of banking with a local community bank.
One of the most significant benefits to banking with a community bank is that lending decisions are made locally. For example, if you own a small business and decide it’s time to get a loan, your loan will have to go through an approval process at the bank you choose. Depending on the size and purpose of the loan, sometimes it’s approved by a loan committee. The speed of the loan committee approval will play a significant role in how long it takes for you to receive your loan.
Community banks will typically have a faster loan approval process with decisions made by people who know and understand the local community. At AimBank, our loan committee is made up of five of our executives. They are local bankers who live here, have been established here for a long time, are involved in the community, and understand the unique needs of our local businesses.
Many times at big banks, the loan committee will not be made up of local decision-makers. Instead, the people making the decisions on your loan could be from places like Dallas, St. Louis, or New York. These loan committee members may not understand the local economy the way those at smaller banks do. Decision-makers at local banks typically have more insight to make the best local loan decisions.
“Community” is the defining feature in community banks. Community banks are typically deeply invested in the local community. Local bankers are engrained in the local community and often volunteer many hours to local nonprofit organizations. The bank’s community investment also extends to the nonprofits and community efforts it supports financially. At AimBank, we believe in investing in our local community with both our time and resources. In addition, we are invested in the success of local businesses and take the time necessary to understand their needs.
These days, many community banks have the same convenient online tools you previously only found at big banks. At AimBank, we consider the needs of our small business clients and have tools to make banking fast and efficient for you. With our online banking and mobile app, you can set up direct payroll deposits for your employees, make easy and secure ACH transactions, set up automatic bill pay, deposit checks from your phone, and quickly and easily manage all your bank accounts in one place. If you process a large number of checks, we have remote capture machines to cut down on your trips to make deposits.
The ability to quickly fix any issue is an important aspect to consider when choosing a bank for your small business. With technology, glitches happen. No matter who you are banking with, you will eventually have an issue. The big question is how long it will take to fix that issue. With community banks, you’ll typically get the error resolved more quickly and with less hassle.
At AimBank, we pride ourselves on our “fast fixes.” Let’s say it’s 4:00 on a Tuesday. You’re on your AimBank mobile app and notice a charge that you didn’t make. When you call AimBank to fix it, first and foremost, you are going to talk to a real person and not an automated process. Typically, the person you speak to can fix the issue, but if they can’t, they will know who to transfer you to get it resolved quickly. At a bigger bank, that same issue may take numerous phone calls with an automated system, codes you have to enter, and a website form you must submit before you are taken care of and can get back to business.
SVP, Commercial Lending