"Iowa bankers have often said regulations imposed by the federal government after the financial crisis impose a harsh burden," Patane writes. "While the regulations were targeted at bigger banks, community banks face the same requirements, imposing more costs, they've said." Jeffrey Young, CEO of Iowa Trust & Savings Bank in Centerville, told Patane, "The regulation is just horrendous for small banks. The efforts I put into compliance now used to go out into helping the community."
With fewer customers, rural banks are cutting employees and hours, Patane writes. Despite the conveniences of technology and being able to bank from anywhere, small banks offer a familiarity that larger banks and technology can't compete with. Peggy Williams, branch manager of Peoples Bank in Lacona, Iowa, said she knows all her customers in the town of 350 by name. She told Patane, "Down here, I know them. I know who their mom is and who their brothers and sisters are and their family situation. I know the people down here appreciate us having an office here." (Read more)