Why Choose a Community Bank?
Whether you’re a long-time resident of North Central West Virginia or are relocating to the region, you may be wondering whether becoming a customer of a community-based bank like First Exchange Bank is the right choice for you and your family’s financial needs. Large banks can have slick and far-reaching advertising campaigns that make them seem like the best or most convenient choice for not only day-to-day banking needs, but those big financial decisions, from car financing to mortgages.
But the fact is that local banks are a key part of our financial world, providing the bulk of loans that keep our small business community growing and representing 97% of financial institutions nationwide. There are lots of reasons why people continue to choose community-based financial institutions over mega-banks, and we think you’ll find them pretty compelling, too. Keep reading to learn more!
Reasons to Choose a Community Bank
There are many motivations behind why people choose their financial institution. Maybe you’ve had the same bank since you were a child, your current bank had a branch around the corner from your old house, or it offered you a good rate on your mortgage, years ago. But if you’re banking with a large, national institution and aren’t thrilled with their service, know that there are great choices within your community, and lots of reasons to keep your banking local.
Keep Your Money in the Community
When you bank with a local bank, you keep your business and your money in your community. Why is this so important to the health of our communities? Your dollars invested in your community bank can provide loans to businesses to open, expand, and hire employees, keeping our local economies strong. And not only do local businesses create more jobs, they also help bring regional prosperity and provide great tax revenue to be reinvested back into the community—wins all around.
When you do your part in joining and supporting a thriving local bank, you also help to provide an opportunity for first-time homebuyers to work with a flexible, attentive lending team to achieve their dreams of home ownership. When more members of the community own their own homes, the whole community benefits.
We Help the Community
Community involvement and support is central to the mission of local banks. From sponsoring youth athletic teams to providing financial education services, community banks not only offer dedicated service to their customers, they also help build local identities, fund local initiatives, and organize gatherings to promote community fellowship.
At First Exchange Bank, our employees strive to play supporting roles throughout their communities both in and outside of work, by volunteering, serving on local boards and committees, and giving back to local organizations. We also are proud to sponsor and participate in many community events, from the Fairmont Christmas Parade and Mannington District Fair, to the Drive-Thru Santa at our Hundred office and Trunk-or-Treat in Morgantown, we aim to stay engaged with our surrounding communities.
Personal, Local Service
When you work with a hometown bank, you are working with people who live in the same community as you, and who have local market insights and expertise that national banks simply can’t compete with. In combination with this, all lending decisions are made locally, and our banking and lending team will take the time to get to know you and find the right financial solutions for your financial needs.
At First Exchange Bank, cultivating strong connections with our customers is our first priority. From Child and Youth Savings Accounts to Retirement Planning, we serve customers at all stages of life, and work hard to build life-long banking relationships.
Better Rates and More Flexible Lending
It’s no secret that large national banks don’t always offer the best rates, especially for their savings accounts and certificates of deposit. As Credit Karma explains, "Interest rates on savings accounts are often low because many traditional banks don’t need to attract new deposits, so they’re not as motivated to pay higher rates.” But smaller, community-owned banks strive to offer the best rates they can, coupled with lower minimum balances, to make sure all our customers have access to great options.
Small banks also often beat large financial institutions when it comes to rates and terms for lending products, from mortgages to loans for businesses. Local decision-making allows for more flexibility when it comes to approving loan applications, and quicker turn around.
Same Great Products
Think that only big banks can offer a wide range of products and services, or the latest technology to keep your accounts accessible and secure? Think again. You don’t need to sacrifice local service to gain access to the banking products that you need, and that can make your life easier. From mobile banking and online account opening to a range of lending products for both individuals and businesses (as well as affordable business Cash Management Services!), our services can fulfill your banking needs.
Working with a local bank can also be a convenient, time-saving choice. Small, local banks can also offer more local branch locations (At First Exchange Bank, we have locations throughout North Central West Virginia in White Hall, Fairmount, Fairview, Hundred, Morgantown, and Mannington), to make your visits more convenient. Plus, with nationwide ATM fee reimbursement*, you can have access to your money wherever you go—even when you’re miles away from home.
Work with First Exchange Bank for All Your Banking Needs
If you’ve been researching banks with locations in North Central West Virginia, whether in Mannington, White Hall, Fairmont, Fairview, Hundred, Morgantown, or Mannington to find the right one for your banking needs, look no farther than First Exchange Bank. We offer competitive rates, convenient banking services, and the community-bank touch that large banks just can’t match.
Reading about the benefits of working with a community bank is one thing—but meeting with a dedicated member of our banking team is the key to understanding the difference. Stop by one of our branches today to begin your banking relationship today. Whether you are looking to open a checking account or savings account, or just want to chat about what we have to offer, we can’t wait to get to know you!
*A $15 limit on ATM fee reimbursement applies for firstEssential, $25 limit for firstPlus, and $45 limit for firstPlatinum Checking Accounts.