Citizens State Bank

It matters where you bank!

By Jason Winter, CSB President

Jason Winter Citizens State Bank President Jason Winter.

A few weeks ago, I spent several hours of my day with an owner of a company who was looking to possibly expand and wanted help brainstorming the idea. We discussed the big picture growth goals for the company, the potential competitors, the overall health and direction of the economy, strategies to find quality employees in a tight labor market, and a variety of other topics. As bankers, people would probably expect us to do this with potential customers.

However, there is one detail I did not mention above. The business did not need financing in order to move forward with its project. If the bank has no chance of getting a loan out of the deal, would you expect to find a banker that is still willing to help?

Unfortunately, in today’s world of sales commissions and sales quotas, the answer at most banks is typically no. At Citizens, the answer is unequivocally, yes. Our knowledgeable staff is always there to help. Our loan team is not paid on commission, they have no sales quotas to meet, and they understand the relationship we have with the customer is what makes us different.

With the wild swings we’ve been seeing in the market and recession fears on the rise, the value of choosing a local community bank is greater than ever. I know that many other places try to convince people they are the best place to bank, but most really don’t match Citizens in terms of the important benefits of local banking.

At Citizens, the customer gets to work with bankers who actually make decisions. Loan requests are not shipped off to some other city or state for some committee to review. The bankers at Citizens get to know the customers. We understand how the local economy differs from the metro area and the rest of the country. Because of this familiarity, you aren’t just a customer number with credit score and some financial ratios. We are better able to understand your needs and we can offer products that make the most sense for you.

I often see the big banks trying to market that they offer the service and customer experience we provide daily. But I know they regularly fall short even in the best of times. Their business model simply doesn’t allow for building long-term relationships with their customers. Over the last few years, it has been obvious that sales quotas and bad behavior had an impact on their customers. The constant slashing of jobs and lean, distant staffing can benefit stockholders, but it doesn’t do anything for customers.

When the world turned a bit upside down during COVID, we regularly had people walking through our doors looking for help and needing a real banking relationship when they thought they had one at their big bank.

You don’t have to be a business owner to see how Citizens is different. Our accounts aren’t set up with numerous “gotchas” to try to generate extra fees. We have purposely kept it simple for the customer, while the industry has moved to numerous fee-driven account stipulations. We have all the technology you need and have staff to help when you have questions.

While most of our customers have long known how Citizens is a different, if you aren’t a current customer, I encourage you to check us out. We value our banking relationships!