Rebeca Romero Rainey is the President and CEO of ICBA (Independent Community Banks of America). In her recent blog, Main Street Matters, she shares with us the importance of community banking epically when it comes to times of trouble. This is pointed directly at the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan process that we are living right now.
Community Banks (including Community State Bank in Southeast Wisconsin) worked tirelessly to A) communicate, B) process and C) close PPP loans, all while the big banks didn’t get past A (in most circumstances) and chose to cherry pick the ones they wanted work with.
Rebeca's article perfectly captures how community banks, like CSB, rose to the challenge to serve the needs of their community. I hope you enjoy!
Community Banks Respond to Americans' Needs
June 24, 2020
By: Rebeca Romero Rainey
I’m an optimistic kind of person, often finding the silver lining in difficult times. While we have never before experienced anything quite like COVID-19, we can identify a bright spot: community banks rising to serve the needs of their communities.
While this “community first” philosophy is nothing new for community banks, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) cast a national light on the role they play in supporting America’s hard-working small businesses. In fact, FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams recently referred to community banks as “the small engines that could and did and delivered big,” and countless news features raised the profile of the can-do mentality at the center of every community bank.
Because community banks delivered for small businesses when they needed it, they now have the nation’s attention. This newfound spotlight means they have a platform to amplify their voices to ensure Americans recognize all that community banks stand for and all that they provide.
For example, community banks serve areas that otherwise may not have access to local financial services. In fact, 35 percent of counties in the U.S. are only served by a community bank, and more than 80 percent of all agricultural loans come from community banks.
In addition, community banks support individuals of moderate means. Low-income counties in 28 states are more likely to be served by a community bank than a credit union. What’s more, a National Community Reinvestment Coalition study found that banks outperformed credit unions on 65 percent of fair lending indicators in home purchase, refinance, and home improvement lending to low- and moderate-income areas.
As small businesses themselves, community banks have stepped into the shoes of every small business that has come to them for help. Community bankers don’t just see a loan request; they see the lifeline for the future of the small business. As a result, they have processed more than 65 percent of the 4.6 million approved PPP loans and more than 63 percent of the $515 billion in funds approved since the program's launch. In fact, 82 percent of banks under $1 billion in assets participated in the PPP program. This crisis magnified that community banks truly are there for the communities they serve.
And community banks continue to provide service that makes them the small business lender of choice. According to the Federal Reserve Banks' latest Small Business Credit Survey, which features pre-COVID responses, 79 percent of community bank small-business loan applicants were satisfied with their experience, and community banks' net satisfaction score of 73 percent continued to lead as it has in recent years, topping large banks by 15 points, finance companies by 23 points, and online lenders by 36 points.
While COVID-19 may have wreaked havoc on our nation’s economy, community banks were there to help pick up the pieces and support customers, small businesses, and others who needed a champion in their corner. And that’s an important story to tell. I encourage community banks to continue to share their successes and help raise awareness of the role they play as the cornerstone of community.
Rebeca Romero Rainey is ICBA President and CEO.
There are only a few times in a person’s life that you meet someone and know immediately that this person is not like most humans walking the face of this earth. I met one of those people when I first moved here about 6 years ago.
Frank Lamping is that person. In today’s environment of "what’s in it for me", Frank was the complete opposite. In his mind it was always, "what can I do for you today". Even when he was battling an ugly cancer, he didn’t waiver. He always looked for the best in people. He always helped those who couldn’t help themselves. He was the most positive person that I have ever met.
Last year Community State Bank recognized Frank by naming a community award in his honor. Of course Frank was embarrassed by the attention that he got and said many times that there were more deserving people than he.
I didn't disagree with Frank on many things, but that I did. There was no better role model than Frank Lamping. It saddens me that he is no longer here to continue in that role, but I’m happy to know how many people he is helping in heaven.
Frank passed away today. I ask that to honor Frank, we all start acting like Frank. If everybody did, this world would not look like it does today.
The last few weeks on the Facebook Go Frank Go Community Page, so many of Frank’s friends and family were praying for a miracle. The miracle of healing and that Frank would continue to be with us here on earth. The beauty of that prayer is that it was already answered… We already experienced that miracle. Frank was the miracle and he will continue to live in our hearts, minds and community for many years to come. Our love, thoughts and prayers go out to all of his friends and family. He will be missed greatly.
On June 19th, 2020, our CSB Crew asks everyone to help us in filling our community with green & gold in honor of our friend, Frank Lamping.
Scott Huedepohl is the President of Community State Bank, and has been a community banker for over 30 years.