The value of being with a community bank

Here at Canton Co-operative Bank, we talk to customers all the time. Many of them also have accounts at the big national banks. So (without ever asking!), we also hear a lot about what people think of those big banks.

Mostly customers apparently feel there is just “no warmth” in the big bank relationships. Maybe because the turnover there is so high. Since nobody in the big bank branches seems to know customers or recognize them, it’s like “starting from Square One” every single time.

And it gets worse. Since the big banks don’t know their customers, when a rule has to be applied, they can’t deviate. They can’t make exceptions. Or they won’t – even when they could. Everything with them is black & white with no consideration given to the customer’s circumstances. People really hate that!

Is it different at community banks? Can community banks always make exceptions? We can’t always make exceptions but it is different at community banks. Because sometimes we can. And when that happens, it can make a huge difference to the customer, the person, the human being involved. They notice that we helped them, and they remember.

Even when we can’t make an exception or can’t say “Yes”, community bank customers still know someone truly listened to them, heard them out and gave them a chance to make their case. Which, they tell us, they truly appreciate.

Here’s another difference with the big banks: A few weeks ago, there was a story in The Wall Street Journal headlined “Citizens Financial Staff Cite Made-Up Meetings.” Apparently Citizens employees were instructed to schedule “financial checkup meetings” with customers. When they discovered the vast majority of their customers had no interest in these meetings, the Citizens’ employees ended up fabricating “appointments” and then fabricating reasons why those fake “appointments” never occurred.

Obviously that’s nowhere near as bad as what happened last year at Wells Fargo. But it shows once again that these big banks are under intense pressure to sell-sell-sell. And they have no particular respect for their customers’ disinterest in high-pressure sales.

That sort of nonsense doesn’t happen at community banks. At Canton Co-operative, we don’t waste your time trying to “sell” you products and services you don’t need or want. We never have. And we never will. We respect our customers too much for that. Happily, it looks like the feeling is mutual.

Canton Co-operative Bank is located in downtown Canton at 671 Washington Street, Canton, MA 02021.

The main phone number is 781-828-8811.

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