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Community Banks vs. Big Banks: What?s the Difference?


Community Banks vs. Big Banks: What?s the Difference?

Community banks and large multinational “big” banks offer many of the same financial products and services, including bank accounts, personal and business loans, debit and credit cards, etc. However, there are several distinct differences between the two types of financial institutions. 

Let’s look at the differences between community banks and big banks: 

Community Banks

Big Banks

Majority owned by members of the community they serve

Owned by shareholders – typically institutional investors

Private or Public


Small to Medium




Their customers are typically members of the local community where the bank is located

Their customers are corporations, SMEs, and individuals (often from more affluent backgrounds)

More likely to grant loans to low and moderate-income households

More focused on corporate lending

Deep understanding of its community’s financial needs and more willing to fulfill them

Provide broad array of financial products and services

The critical difference between the two banking services providers can be found in the name. A community bank is much more tied to the community it serves and provides personalized, relationship-based banking services.  Unlike big banks we’ve heard about in the news recently, community banks keep your money local which contributes to prosperity now and for future generations.

Community banks support local startups—funding more than 60 percent of all small business and more than 80 percent of agriculture loans. They contribute tax dollars that help maintain local municipalities and keep local neighborhoods viable and vibrant. Community banks also have nearly 50,000 locations nationwide and employ nearly 700,000 people.

When choosing who to trust with your hard-earned money, Centennial Bank wants consumers to know:

  • Community banks respect and honor their community ties. Community banks have symbiotic relationships with their communities—one cannot thrive without the other.
  • Community banks are relationship lenders. They know their customers and understand their financial needs.
  • Community banks understand and embrace local businesses. A study from the Federal Reserve Banks found that small businesses that apply for loans with community banks are the most successful and most satisfied.  
  • Community banks give back. Serving local communities is second nature to community banks.

Centennial Bank prides itself in being an innovative financial institution that focuses on serving its local communities while offering “big bank” services such as online banking, mobile banking including mobile deposit, online account opening, online consumer loan application, instant issue debit cards, and much more.  If you are looking to open your first bank account, take out a small business loan, secure a home mortgage, or switch banking providers because you are dissatisfied with your current bank, why not check out a local community bank and see what we have to offer? Call a local branch today.  Centennial Bank customer service representatives are ready to serve you!

Centennial Bank. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.