CALEDONIA, Miss.(WCBI)—For Caledonia Mississippi, having a close-knit community is very important. Thursday residents got to welcome The Bank of Vernon to the area.
Small Communities usually strive on small business. Because community banks are small businesses, themselves, they have a better understanding of how to accommodates towns like Caledonia.
“In rural areas there is a movement for community banks to do well,” said Bank of Vernon CEO Andy Johnson.
Community banks focus their attention on local needs. Bank of Vernon Vice President Marsha Granen says banks like theirs will always be successful in a town where everyone knows your name.
” Since this is a community bank the employees of the bank know the customers, they’ve grown up with their customers, their kids go to school together they go to church together so we feel like we know our customers really well and it’s just that personal touch that I like about community banks,”said Granen.
Customers’ views of banking are changing over time. People are looking for the fastest most effective way to access their accounts. Johnson says the smaller banks are just a technology capable as the megeabanks.
“We have all the technology that the larger banks have. We focus on having all those things; mobile banking, online banking, good payment systems and we want all our customers to have all those items and it is an expense but it’s something that if you want to stay in business you have to provide as a bank,”said Johnson.
Many of the Nations megabanks are designed to accommodate large corporations. Johnson says The distrust so residents have for larger banks can trickle down to them.
” That’s been an issue and their issues cause problems for all people and it makes the regulators press issues down to banks like ours but we feel like um those are isolated to the larger banks,” said Johnson.
According to the Independent Community Banking of America there are 92 community banks in Mississippi with 731 branches.