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Citizens State Bank

Five signs you are at the right bank!

By Jason Winter
CSB President

I was recently at a swim meet for one of my boys. Between events I was chatting with another parent sitting nearby. When I discovered he was a loan officer at one of the largest banks in the state, I figured we had some common ground. I told him I was a banker at Citizens, and his immediate reaction was along the lines of, “Oh…that's a tough gig. With a bank that size, it has to be hard to compete.”

After listening to what he had to say I realized that our common ground was limited to generic financial concepts. His big bank way of doing business is vastly different than our approach at Citizens. As he continued to gush about his big loans with big fees and big commissions, I couldn't help but feel sorry for the customers of the bank he worked at. Here are my signs that you're at the right bank:

  1. The customer is not just a number. You will notice a difference when you walk in the door and you're greeted by name, or when you call us and the phone is answered by a person instead of a computer. It's also noticeable when your loan request takes into account your history with the bank and in the community instead of just your credit score or a set of financial ratios.
  2. The bank's goal is to form long-term relationships with customers located in its city and neighboring communities. Unlike the big banks, our loan officers don't target only big loans so they can charge big fees and get paid big commissions. We look to approve loans that are going to help support our community. The loan amount has no bearing on our decision process. You'll never feel sales pressure because our loan officers are not paid on commissions, and we avoid having the customer jump through hoops.
  3. Loan decisions are made locally, by the people you know. Our loan requests are not sent off to some board or committee halfway across the country and take weeks to receive an answer. The person you speak with is going to be the person reviewing your loan request. While a complex business loan could take a few days to come up with options, some loans get approved in minutes.
  4. The bank is not limited by policies created by a board far off in some distant land. Like Perry before me, I've always been an outside-the-box thinker. Our team takes the time to truly understand the customer's needs, reviews their entire financial situation, and creates tailored solutions every day. While traditional financing will do just fine for many customers, it may not be the loan that makes the most sense for every borrower.
  5. The bank values every customer that walks through our door. Just the other day I read another article of a mega-bank that signed a settlement to pay billions in fines for illegal activity. When a bank's primary objective is simply to maximize profit, bad things will eventually happen. At Citizens we realize when our customers are successful, the bank is too. While we can't approve every loan request that comes in the door, I can guarantee you we never “accidentally” repossessed the vehicle of a paying customer.

Citizens has provided financial services to residents, small businesses, and farmers in the area since 1914. Our employees, both current and former, have deep roots in the community going back generations. We understand the trust you place in us. I believe where you bank makes a difference and we try to make a difference every day.