Monday, March 15, 2010

Prove you’re small business friendly.
Chart your lending record.

Community banks have had a reputation as being lender friendly to small business. And, that reputation continues as big banks hold on to their lending dollars. Perhaps it’s in your community bank’s interest to point out your lending record to prospects. . . especially if you have one to crow about. Don’t just talk about it. Demonstrate it. Chart it. Put a graphic to it. Post it to your website. Then use it as part of your presentation to small business. Show you are a friend to small business.

The New Rules Project, a program of The Institute for Local Self-Reliance, did some charting of their own. They examined large, mid and small sized banks and contrasted their share of assets to their share of small business lending. As expected, small banks. . . those under $1 billion in assets. . . carry the lion’s share of small business lending.

The New Rules Project went further and compared the amount of actual commercial loan dollars that went to small business. Again, community banks catered to smaller enterprises.

Do your own chart. Create a graphic depicting your share of lending to the small business community. Then, show how you compare with the big boys, as well as your community bank competitors. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Large banks rebrand themselves as “community” banks.

Now in an attempt to turn their stingy reputation around, big bankers Citibank and Wells Fargo have recrowned themselves as “community banks.” A Huffington Post article, Big Banks Want You Back, notes that a revamped portion of the Citibank website makes “conspicuous use of the words ‘local’ and ‘community’," And, the online publication reported that Wells Fargo with its 10,000+ locations and $1.2 trillion in assets described itself as "the nation's leading community bank" during Olympic Games ads.

In a biting response to the commercials, Camden Fine, head of the Independent Community Bankers of America, warned, "Wall Street mega-firms better be careful what they call themselves lest they be confused with actual community banks that regulators allow to fail."

It's no surprise that big banks are grabbing onto words like "local" and "community," says Tim Pannell, president of Financial Marketing Solutions, which develops branding and advertising for banks. "Big banks understand that those are the key words that are creating success for a lot of community banks," said Pannell.


Anonymous said...

Well here is the problem
In talking to community bank presidents and
lending officers. Small business loans are asset based
An example 1 million dollar building
is now discounted to $800 first thing and then
will lend only 80% that doesn’t work.
Regulators are all over community banks
over C&I loans secured by commercial real estate.
That is all they did along with housing construction
We know where that is now
Don’t make promises you can’t keep

Anonymous said...

hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day!