Exploring the Benefits of Local Banks: Putting Clients First

Outside F&M Bank Jake Alexander Boulevard office
F&M Bank's office on Jake Alexander Boulevard in Salisbury, NC

Exploring the Benefits of Local Banks

Local banks are more than just financial institutions within your community. They are your financial partner for community banking services in your North Carolina neighborhood.

Oftentimes, these financial institutions are household names in your town or city because they have helped people achieve their financial goals for generations. So, they have earned the community's trust.

Because North Carolina is the reigning “Banking Hub Of The South,” you may be wondering, “What sets these local banks in my neighborhood apart from the big guys who also have offices in my community?”

Well, it's simple. It's the personal touch and reliable approach that local bank owners and employees take in every client interaction, as well as the unique service offerings that local banks tailor to your community’s needs. Local banks are often owned and operated by people in your very own community, which means they have a vested interest in your financial well-being, from both a personal and professional perspective.

Why choose a local bank?
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of choosing a local bank for your financial needs. We’ll offer some tips on how to find the right local bank, and we’ll highlight some of the top local banks in North Carolina. Keep reading to discover why it may be time to make the switch to a local bank.

Local Bank's Impact on the Community

Local banks are financial institutions that operate within a specific geographic area, often serving a particular community, state or region of the US. Local banks in NC offer a wide range of services tailored to both small businesses and individuals. They differ from larger national banks in that they are typically smaller and much more hyper-focused on serving the unique needs of the community in which they are located.

Since these institutions operate in smaller areas than national banks, local bank owners and employees have a deep, meaningful understanding of the area’s economy. This insight comes from the lived experience of those operating the bank, and it contributes to better, more tailored personal and business services.

Types of Local Banks: Community Banks and More

There are several different types of local banks to consider when deciding where you want to bank. One of the most common types is community banks. These are locally owned and operated financial institutions that typically focus on high-quality client service and are known for a personalized approach to banking.

Regional banks are another type of “localized bank,” which operate within a larger geographic area than a community bank. Regional banks serve multiple states or regions and may have more extensive office networks than community banks.

Other local bank types are “Saving and Loans” banks, which have a focus on mortgages and home loans, as well as “Private” banks, which serve high-net-worth clientele who are able to meet their high minimum balance requirement to open an account. Credit unions are another local banking type that exist in limited areas to serve the specific needs of their members.

Local Banks vs. Credit Unions: Pros and Cons

Like local banks, credit unions offer tailored service options. Although their services may not be based on the needs of the community, their services may be designed specifically for their members, such as educator loans for teachers and schools.

Although some local bank and credit union services are similar, there are some key differences for you to consider when choosing to partner with either.

In many cases, local banks have a more substantial investment in your community. They offer localized banking products and are often involved in local philanthropic efforts and community development initiatives, which is a benefit to your community that can't be overlooked.

Credit unions have limited office networks and fewer specialized services, so they face internal risks, such as internal fraud, regulatory non-compliance, data breaches and legal risks, according to the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions.

Some credit unions have membership requirements, such as belonging to a certain organization or living in a particular area. Rather than joining an organization or residing in a certain area just to gain access to a credit union’s membership, a local bank is likely the better option if you don’t meet these requirements.

A credit union might be right for you if you’re looking for lower rates, which some credit unions offer in some instances. However, if you value personalized service, tailored banking products for yourself or your business and community investment, a local bank may be your right choice.

Banking in the Tar Heel State: Discover the Best Local Banks

North Carolina is home to various local banks that offer personalized services.

F&M Bank

F&M Bank has been a community bank since its inception in 1909. We actively participate in the communities we serve to make them better places to live and work. Building lasting relationships and helping fulfill dreams is our is our commitment to you, our client. As a community bank, we take care to prioritize the success of our neighbors. We offer exceptional client service, banking products tailored to our neighbor’s needs and financial education for your financial planning.

With a focus on community service, we offer a comprehensive suite of services that include commercial loans, personal banking and small business banking.

How to Find the Best Local Bank in North Carolina

There are a few key factors to consider when finding the best local bank in North Carolina. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Research online: The internet is an excellent resource for researching local banks in North Carolina. Look for banks with positive reviews and a strong reputation in the community. You can also use online tools to compare fees, services and other important factors.
  2. Ask for recommendations: Word of mouth is another powerful tool for finding a great local bank. Ask friends, family members and business associates for their recommendations. They may have personal experience with local banks in the area and can provide valuable insight.
  3. Consider fees: Fees can vary widely between different local North Carolina banks. Be sure to compare fees for account maintenance, ATM usage and other services. Look for a bank that offers competitive rates and low fees.
  4. Review service offerings: Different local banks may offer different services depending on their size and focus. For example, some banks may specialize in small business loans, while others offer a wide range of personal banking services. Determine your specific banking needs and look for a bank to meet them.
  5. Find your location: Convenience is an essential factor to consider when choosing a local bank. Look for a bank with offices and ATMs near your home or business. This can save you time and hassle when making deposits or withdrawing cash.
F&M Bank has been voted one of the best banks in NC, offering its clients a range of services and benefits. To learn more, please visit our website at https://www.fmbnc.com/, contact an F&M Bank team member or stop by any F&M Bank location.