The state of Banks in America is big news. Seems every time I turn on the news, another large bank is having a problem (Wa Mu, Indy Mac, Wachovia). I'm leery of "big banks". Always have, much prefer small local banking institutions. They are insured and covered by the FDIC just like the big ones and I've consistently gotten better service from them year in and year out. I have this philosophy that I won't bank at an institution with more than 10 separate locations. The only time I deviated from that philosophy was when the Ex boyfriend insisted we bank at what is now Bank of America and we had nothing but trouble and declining customer service with each takeover/acquisition (three times in six years). When I left the relationship, I got a new bank.
GMA did a story today on The Burke and Herbert Bank, located in Northern Virginia. When I lived in the DC area, I banked at that bank. I chose Burke and Herbert for the reasons outlined above, a good small local bank, well funded, a location close to my office did not hurt either, and most importantly, the excellent customer service I received. The CEO of Burke and Herbert told GMA that he has opened new accounts this past two weeks totalling 50 million (USD) in deposits. Fifty Million, not five million. In two weeks. All I can say is wow, but I'm not surprised. Burke and Herbert is a great bank.
When I moved back to New England, I spent a decent amount of time researching the local banks, number of branches, services offered, community involvement, strength of assets, etc. I narrowed my choice down to two banks and ultimately chose one bank because it had a branch not to far from my work. Like so many banks, it eventually got gobbled up by a larger corporation (and eventually we had a loss of service, and the bank became more impersonal).
I went to my second choice bank about two years ago (It has 9 locations in eight towns) and not only am I offered all the same services as those big impersonal banks (BOA, Chase, WaMu), I am more than an account number, I am a person. I chose my local credit union for many of the same reasons, it's small, well funded, very personable and I am more than just an account number. When the time comes to refinance my car loan, my credit union is willing to work with me. Can't see BOA working with a post BK person, not in this economy! My local bank manager has already said she can try to work with me being post BK, the bank has programs for folks like me. I just can't see BOA working with me right now. I get all the benefits of the larger more impersonal banks without the fear that they may be taken over by the FDIC if they fail.
Where do you bank ?