The PACB Value Proposition
The Association’s name is the “Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers.” Although its Bylaws provide that membership is by institution, it is the bankers within these institutions that are the “heart and soul” of the organization.
There is a sense of family, community, friendship and professionalism among the membership. This is especially noticeable at its Annual Conventions.
The primary reason for membership in the Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers is its emphasis upon banking as a profession, not purely as a business.
Although the term “profession” and “professional” have been watered down over the years (i.e. every form of business has begun to define itself as a profession), traditionally, a profession is characterized by (a) the need for specialized knowledge and academic preparation required of its practitioners; and (b) the fact that its practitioners are governed by a code of ethics or set of rules above and beyond those of the marketplace.
One of the enduring characteristics of community bankers is that their motivation extends beyond the profit-making marketplace. They also are committed to the financial and social betterment of their communities. Community bankers are involved in their communities through financial and volunteer time commitments. They practice a continuing concern for the personal welfare and business success of their customers.
This professional attitude and community orientation frequently differentiates community bankers from those employed by non-community financial institutions and as such differentiates PACB from other trade associations.
Other strengths that contribute to the Association’s value are:
Who Does the Community Bank Serve?
It goes without saying that the community bank serves the community, because a community bank will do well only if the community does well. The community bank owes its survival–and its allegiance–to the people of its town. To the community banker, business isn’t just credit lines and good collateral. It’s the people and their future. In hundreds of communities across the state, the hometown community bank serves as the economic focal point. These communities maintain control over their own destinies through their own community banks.
What’s So Special About a Community Bank?
You know the owners of your community bank. You know the managers who work there. You know them because they live in your community. They work where you can see them and reach them by telephone. Decisions and policies are not made by a nameless “board” or handed down by bank officers hundreds or thousands of miles away. The community banker makes decisions based on what he sees happening to the people he knows and cares about, not solely on computer printouts and trends reported in the financial papers.
The people who manage a community bank are accessible. They listen and respond promptly. They are committed to the community they serve, not a corporate headquarters far away. They make policy and credit decisions based on local factors, which they understand because they see them evolving and affecting their own lives every day.
Only through a community bank do dollars earned at home, spent at home, and banked at home make their way into investments which nourish the community which made them possible.
Your local community bank works to put Pennsylvania First by circulating its monies right back into Pennsylvania. On the average, approximately 95% of the typical community bank’s loan portfolio is reinvested in the community, usually within 50 miles of a bank office, and almost entirely within the borders of Pennsylvania. The average community bank in Pennsylvania has over 30% of its holdings in commercial loans with local businesses, and more than 50% in mortgage loans to local homeowners.
By accepting and reinvesting deposits within the state, our community banks help keep Pennsylvania’s economy strong. And in a way, they also participate in the recycling business–money recycling. If you want to put Pennsylvania First, do your banking at your local community bank and help keep those dollars recycling into your own hometown.
The Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers continually plays an important role in shaping the future of the financial industry in Pennsylvania. The Association provides effective programs and services emphasizing legislative and regulatory affairs, education, membership, communication, and cooperative and promotional services, all of which have a unique orientation toward community banking.
Community banking continually changes. At every turn, community banks in every corner of the state are prospering! The Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers works hard to provide our members with the means to remain viable, progressive financial institutions now and for the future!