What makes community banking special?
If the first word that comes to your mind when you think of community banking is “relationships,” you’ve identified the quintessential ingredient that Northwest Bank & Trust Company and community banks across the country take pride in. That ingredient has never been more apparent than over the past year. During the coronavirus pandemic, banks everywhere have reached out to their communities to communicate that they are open for business and ready to serve in a time of need.
It is what we have always done at Northwest Bank & Trust Company, where our focuses exclusively remain on delivering the products and services our customers want, while our local roots and accountability ensure our interests remain tied to our Quad Cities neighbors.
At Northwest Bank, we work with our customers to help them realize their financial dreams, whether opening a business, purchasing a home, or planning for retirement. And we nurture our community by donating time and money to important causes and contributing tax dollars that help maintain local municipalities—all of which helps keep local neighborhoods viable and vibrant.
We work hard to stay attuned to the needs of this community and relevant to our customers by remaining on their corner and in their corner. This dedication to creating healthy, strong communities has helped the community banking industry flourish and maintained our well-earned reputation as true relationship lenders.
Here are the facts:
- Community banks are economic first responders, processing more than 57 percent or 2.8 million loans as part of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, saving an estimated 33.7 million jobs.
- Community banks outpace large banks in their average number of banks operating in both rural and urban markets by a 3:1 ratio.
- Community banks are preferred small business lenders, with a 73 percent net satisfaction score, compared with 58 percent for large banks and 37 percent for online lenders.
- Community banks have consistently demonstrated their safety and soundness with higher capital ratios and better loan quality than the largest financial institutions.
- Community banks operate in areas abandoned by others—serving as the only physical banking presence in nearly one in three counties.
- Community banks focus a relatively large share of their resources on low- and moderate-income tracts.
But it is not just about stats. When customers contact Northwest Bank, they are greeted by a talented team member who is attuned to their needs and empowered to act on their behalf.
And when our employees participate in annual donation drives for United Way or when Northwest Bank contributed over $80,000 in the past year to local organizations, we are working toward our goal to ensure economic prosperity for the community we call home. In the Paycheck Protection Program round one, we were the leading loan contributor in the QCA for our size, providing 6.7 times more loans to local businesses than any other bank or credit union in the area. That’s 6.7 more jobs protected, just another advantage of a community bank partner.
In an era where bigger is not always better, high-tech does not necessarily equate to high touch, and what we think of as “normal” is in flux, we at Northwest Bank & Trust Company pledge to never lose sight of the all-important “relationship” and the personalized service our customers expect. It has been integral to our success for almost 80 years and is how we will continue to build a legacy that endures.