Data show that consumers and small businesses value the symbiotic relationship between innovation and relationship banking that community banks offer, ICBA community bankers wrote in a new LinkedIn post.

Relationship Banking: ICBA Chairman Derek Williams and ICBA Bank Operations & Payments Committee Chairman Alice Frazier said the positive community bank impact on local communities has only intensified with new technological advancements.

Competitive Advantage: Williams of Century Bank & Trust in Milledgeville, Ga., and Frazier of Bank of Charles Town, W.Va., said that while community banks provide the same suite of digital offerings as larger institutions, they retain a competitive advantage over larger peers through their ability to meet face-to-face with customers to understand their unique needs. They cited public polling that shows ongoing consumer and small-business support for this unique model.

Positive Outlook: “Through ongoing innovation and a commitment to this personalized service and local economic growth,” they wrote, “community banks will continue to thrive in the years ahead, not just because they are good stewards, but because they offer a value proposition that the competition cannot replicate.”