This story is sponsored by First National Bank. Learn more about First National Bank.

Today’s world is filled with endless options, and the financial sector is no exception. Take a look around Utah and you see myriad businesses offering to help you manage your hard-earned money.

Some of those businesses are giant corporations and others keep things local with a neighborly feel. Most want to help you save money, or manage it for you. With so many options, it’s important to do research and find what works best for you.

Here you can learn why choosing a local bank over a national chain could be beneficial for you.

1. Low fees, big results

Using a local bank can be extremely advantageous when it comes to fees. Big corporations often charge you fees or put restrictions on customers to qualify for saving or checking accounts.

According to a 2012 study by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, 63 percent of local banks offered free checking accounts while only 25 percent of big banks offered the same service at no cost

2. Community involvement

Local banks are often heavily involved in the community because they rely so much on it, after all, that’s what makes up their member base. Whether it be a sponsorship of a local school or event, or helping other businesses to achieve their goals, local banks tend to be invested in the community.

3. Local business loans

According to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, “The largest 20 banks, which control 57 percent of all bank assets (as of 2010), devote only 18 percent of their commercial loan portfolios to small business.”

That means local banks are actually doing more lending for small businesses than big institutions. Why? They see things from a local angle, are small businesses themselves and understand the needs of the community better.

4. Grow the local economy

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ILSR also reported that one of the primary functions of local banks is to service loans, whereas nationwide banks tend to focus more on using member money to trade on Wall Street, resulting in big returns for the bank, but not the members or local economy.

5. It’s about the relationships

Local banks often know their customer base on a more intimate level. Corporate banks, on the other hand, generally experience high employee turnover rates and service can feel, well, less neighborly.

Your money helps you live your life and you shouldn’t have to worry if your bank has your best interests at hand. Choosing a trusted local bank will help you feel secure about your assets while still giving you the local flare you love.

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