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The community banking star shine the brightest

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ICBA Community Banking Month Celebrates Local Lending Heroes Amid COVID-19 Pandemic 

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Washington, D.C. (April 1, 2020)—In honor of Community Banking Month in April, the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) recognizes the unmatched role that the nation’s nearly 5,000 community banks serve in helping their customers and communities through times of challenge. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the time-tested relationship banking business model of these financial firms is well positioned to serve the complicated needs of customers and communities nationwide.

Community Banking Shines In The Time Of Crisis

“It’s during times like this when we see the nation’s community banking star shine the brightest as these local lending heroes shepherd their customers and communities through times of unprecedented challenge,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “The stories I am hearing about how these bankers are being caring, creative, persistent, and going above and beyond, are making such a powerful difference in the lives of consumers, small business owners and farmers across this great nation. The spirit of our industry is shining through in incredible ways.”

While their individual actions vary, and are as unique as the customers and communities they serve, these financial firms from coast to coast are demonstrating their flexibility to address the financial needs of their customers while performing acts of service that exemplify their symbiotic relationship with their communities. Examples include:

  • Deferring payments, modifying loans and waiving fees for impacted customers.
  • Making available electronic banking and drive-up services for customers.
  • Providing tips to promote financial wellness during difficult times.
  • Reinforcing the need to stay vigilant from fraud and cyberattacks.
  • Instituting remote work alternatives for employees.
  • Donating to nonprofits that support critical needs like food, shelter, and childcare
  • Volunteering to help replenish critical depleted resources within their communities.

Facing Adversity

“Community banks have always stood strong in the face of adversity, serving as a source of aid and guidance for their customers and neighborhoods,” said Noah Wilcox, ICBA chairman and president, CEO and chairman of Grand Rapids State Bank and its holding company, Wilcox Bancshares Inc., in Grand Rapids, Minn. “I commend my community banking colleagues for their incredible work. Every day may present a new challenge, but the nation’s community banks stand ready to serve throughout this pandemic and beyond.”

To further demonstrate this commitment, ICBA released a new video in honor of ICBA Community Banking Month. Additionally, ICBA’s annual Service Awards demonstrate this continued commitment to helping others throughout the year. To find a local community bank, consumers can visit www.banklocally.org.

“We at ICBA thank the nation’s community bankers for their steadfast commitment and plan to honor them in new ways during this year’s Community Banking Month,” said Romero Rainey. “We join these banks in wishing all Americans well during this difficult time and want them to know that our community banking industry will be right there with them every step of the way as we all do our part to protect loved ones and help bolster our nation’s resilient economy.”

 For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.