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The Green Sheet Online Edition

September 28, 2009 • Issue 09:09:02


The promise of community banks

Of the 8,246 banks in the United States, nearly 8,000 are community banks. These can be defined as commercial banks, thrifts, or stock and mutual savings institutions with assets under $1 billion. Following are statistics on community banks drawn from Impact of the Financial Crisis on U.S. Community Banks: Difficult Times, New Opportunities, a March 2009 white paper written by Aite Group LLC in conjunction with the Independent Community Bankers of America; the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy; and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

  • Community banks constitute 96 percent of all banks. (ICBA)

  • Insured institutions with less than $1 billion in assets make 31.3 percent of the total dollar amount of small business loans of less than $1 million, even though they hold only 11.5 percent of industry assets. (SBA)

  • Of 743 community banks surveyed in February 2009, 41 percent plan to invest more in information technology during 2009 than they did in 2008. (Aite)

  • Forty-eight percent of small businesses get their financing from community banks. (ICBA)

  • Fifty-seven percent of community banks saw new retail customer acquisition increase during the third and fourth quarters of 2008; 47 percent saw an increase in new business customers. (Aite)

  • The North Central, Southeast and Midwest regions of the United States constitute 65 percent of the community bank population; the Southwest, West and Northeast account for the remaining 35 percent. (ICBA)

  • Community bank accounts represent approximately 12 percent of all bank assets in the United States, but they make over 20 percent of all small business loans and more than half of all small business loans under $100,000. (ICBA)

  • In 2008, community banks experienced a 5.53 percent growth from 2007 in net loans to consumers and merchants. (Aite)

  • The number of domestic community banks decreased by 2,080 between December 1998 and September 2008; however, their total deposits grew from $4.39 trillion to $8.7 trillion during the same time. (FDIC)

  • Fifty-five percent have seen an increase in deposits as a result of new customer acquisition: Forty-two percent of respondents reported a decrease in loan activity. (Aite)

  • Despite the financial crisis, 98 new community banks were chartered in 2008; since 2001, there have been 1,037 newly formed FDIC-insured community financial institutions. (ICBA)

  • More than 26 million small businesses in the United States have created 70 percent of the new jobs since 2000. (SBA)

  • Ninety-two percent of banks in the United States have assets under $1 billion; 39 percent have assets under $100 million. (ICBA)

  • Small businesses employ approximately one-half of the private sector work force. (ICBA)

end of article

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