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Citizens State Bank

Choose A Bank That's Conservative, Courageous, and Consistent!

By Jason Winter, CSB President

Jason Winter Citizens State Bank President Jason Winter.

A few years ago, I attended a conference where the keynote speaker discussed what he called, “The 3 C's of Ag Lending”. He said a bank should be conservative in the good times, courageous in the tough times, and consistent all the time. The more notes I took, the more I realized he was explaining exactly how we do things at Citizens.

Conservative in the Good Times

We're fortunate at Citizens to have a strong customer base of well-qualified borrowers. While there are instances where we have to say no to potential customers due to credit quality, we also sometimes have to say no to some really strong business customers. Thankfully, most of those no's are what we call a “good no.” For instance, when times are good for a business and the money is rolling in, it's easy to think it'll be like that forever. Some businesses will inevitably start looking at new ways to grow by moving into an area they're not familiar with. While it's not necessarily a bad thing, jumping into a new venture does pose some significant risk. What we can offer is to review that opportunity from a different perspective.

While a new venture may look like a great deal to the business owner, we have experiences where our analysis has indicated the profitability to be substantially different. For some, revenue was overstated, and we simply helped break down the steps to properly estimate their expected revenue. For others, our second set of eyes helped uncover expenses that weren't thought about. In both instances the business owner leaves the bank without a loan, but is thankful we said no. We can't claim to be experts in every type of business, but there's a good chance we've reviewed financials for something similar and can help provide some clarity.

Courageous in the Tough Times

Owning a retail business during the height of Covid was tough. In the years leading up to Covid, farmers had their worst years since the 1980s when they had to deal with low prices due to international trade wars and spring flooding. The financial crisis from 2008-2011 was hard on everyone. A banker has courage when, unlike the big banks, we are not showing our customers the door at the first sign of stress. In order to work with a customer through those tough times, we need more than just a strong understanding of a business' financials. Our goal is to get to know the business owners and possibly even their families and other business relationships that could impact the bottom line. Because of the close relationships we have with our customers, they expect us to speak frankly in our assessment of their business and they know we are always looking outside the box for potential ways we can help.

Consistent All the Time

We're going to operate the same no matter what stage of the economic cycle we're in. We're going to treat you the same whether you're in the bank for a $1 million loan, a $10,000 loan, or no loan at all.

We understand that people are comfortable when they know what to expect. What you can expect from Citizens is you'll never receive a hard sales pitch from our bankers. You can expect us to work with you through successes and failures. You can expect us to develop a solid understanding of your business, then tailor solutions to meet your needs.

For any small business, from a family run farm to a manufacturing company, one of their most important teammates is their banker. The bank that is chosen can have a significant impact, both good and bad, on the financial outcomes of not only the business, but the livelihood of the families behind it. Choose a bank that's Conservative, Courageous, and Consistent. Choose Citizens State Bank.