5 tips for choosing a community bank

Local counts
2 of 7

At their core, community banks are about local decision making, says Steve Lewis, CEO of First Place Bank, located in Ohio's Mahoning Valley.

"You want to know that decision makers are members of the community," says Lewis. "That's going to make the difference on big things like mortgages, but it's also about service and accountability."

To test a bank's commitment to local, Lewis advises customers to walk into any branch and ask to meet the management team. "If they're in some other state, that's a bad sign," he says. Lewis also recommends that customers call their bank's headquarters. If there's no way to get senior management on the phone, there's a high likelihood that the bank doesn't take customer service seriously.




Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us

Learn the latest trends that will help grow your portfolio, plus tips on investing strategies. Delivered weekly.

Ask Dr. Don

Are my savings bonds safe?

Dear Dr. Don, I have approximately $20,000 in savings bonds. Given the state of the U.S. economy, should I cash them in? How safe are they if the economy tanks, the U.S. goes bankrupt or the country gets a serious credit... Read more

Partner Center

Connect with us