The American economy is strong right now. But even in the good times, community banks need to be recruiting new depositors. As the economy grows, banks tend to grow their loan portfolios. This loan growth can create some special challenges when the economy shifts, if a proper plan is not followed.
Avoid relying on a single loan strategy.
Many institutions find themselves increasingly relying on non-core and wholesale sources to fund loan growth. These sources may be part of a well-managed strategy, but an over-reliance on them can be a problem.
As community banks work on liquidity risk management, one way they can offset this risk is keeping a steady flow of new depositors. Having a cushion of liquid assets is the first line of defense according to FDIC findings. So, what can community banks do to increase their flow of new depositors? We list 5 strategies that community banks can employ to grow their deposits:
1. Partner with a deposit manager.
The simplest way for community banks to find more deposits is to enlist a deposit manager, like The American Deposit Management Co.
ADM provides banks with diverse company depositors from all over the USA. A deposit manager helps community banks overcome geographic limitations by utilizing technology. We work with our deposit clients to spread their assets among various banks so they can have full coverage on their funds without the hassle of managing multiple bank accounts. We leverage a network of banks to do this, and we love working with community banks to help them find the right depositors for their needs. Click here for more information or to join our network of banks.
2. Utilize technology to overcome geographic limitations.
Historically, one of the biggest limitations on community banks was access. Clients had to physically visit a branch to conduct most transactions. With the advent of online banking, these limitations are shrinking.
The challenges that come along with implementing an online banking portal can be costly and time consuming. Many banks never get it totally right, but online services are critical in this new high-tech economy. Once a bank has a functional online portal, they can begin using online advertising and search engine optimization to attract new clients.
3. Emphasize relationship banking and customer service.
One-on-one, personal service is already a strong point for most community banks – so building on those relationships can be a great place to find deposit growth. With a large percentage of transactions occurring online, the personal relationships have become secondary in some cases. This has resulted in many customers only having one product with a bank. Community banks can leverage these relationships by getting to know their clients and encouraging them to open other accounts, when they can provide value.
4. Offer higher rates and interest rate raises.
Offering a higher rate on CDs than your competition is a good way to increase depositors’ interest in your bank. That is a given, but it comes with an obvious trade-off. Higher rates do increase costs for the bank in the short term, but combining a good rate with a good relationship can result in long-term customer retention.
Many banks even offer a one-time rate-bump during the lifespan of a CD. This gives your customers some flexibility, especially in a rising rate environment. Being creative with CD rates is a good way to draw in new depositors.
5. Tell your bank’s story.
Your bank has a unique story. Share it in your advertising. Do you support little leagues? The local food pantry? Community events? Highlight pictures in your ads. Make the most of your community involvement and the story of your bank because it is a huge part of who you are–community! This type of strategy can help you gain depositors, but it is limited to your geographic footprint.
“7 Bank Marketing Strategies to Increase Deposits.” bankbound, https://www.bankbound.com/blog/marketing-increase-deposits
“Community Banking Advisor: Recognizing the Warning Signs for Liquidity Risk.” Elliott Davis, May 2018, https://www.elliottdavis.com/recognizing-warning-signs-liquidity-risk/
FDIC. Supervisory Insights Summer 2017. Washington, DC, 2017. 3-20.