J. Michael Romey, President/CEO
Every January I like to consider how the banking industry has changed and take stock of our bank's position. With all the attention that the large banks receive it is good to be reminded that community banks still make up 97% of all banks in this country numbering approximately 7,000 banks with more than 50,000 locations. Of all banks, more than 90% are small banks with assets under $1 billion; 31% of those have assets under $100 million. With total assets of $650 million Citizens falls right in line with these numbers.
While large banks have accumulated 90% of the total banking assets they only comprise 40% of the loans to small businesses and farms. Banks with less than $10 billion in assets make 58% of these types of loans. Banks like Citizens with assets under $1 billion make up 38% of that number. There are many reasons businesses and farms choose smaller banks over large national banks. Small banks focus attention on the needs of families, businesses and farmers while large banks are structured to focus on serving large corporations. Small banks' boards of directors are made up of local citizens who want to advance the interests of the towns and cities where their banks do business as opposed to large banks with boards of directors in large cities many miles away.
Technology has leveled the playing field for small banks now able to offer anytime, anywhere electronic and mobile banking, automated teller machines, credit and debit cards, competitive loan and deposit rates, and world class investment products. Both large and small banks have certain competitive advantages in our complex financial system today that should be healthy for the banking industry for many years to come. As part of that industry, Citizens National Bank will remain strong and advocate for our customers as a true community bank.