Independent Banks

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ltlredwagon's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 23 2008
Posts: 87
Independent Banks

I'm looking at independent banks.  Los Angeles area.  Business and personal banking. I admit that at times I have this warm fuzzy feeling about a bank where I know for sure that all my assets are completely safe, where the President is my pal and always asks about the wife and kids by name, a man of unassailable integrity who in the event of a fire would be the last to emerge from the smoke and falling debris, my safety deposit box, with the deed to the farm and grandma's wedding ring, tucked securely under his arm.   And everyone elses too!  (We always thought he must be a superhero and now we know it's true!)  Okay, back to reality.   Are there independent banks - or independent bankers - that truly are different?   I'll take hard facts or anecdotes.   Are there any reliable/meaningful rankings of independent banks, or independent banks vs. the big boys?   Could it actually be "safer" to bank at an independent bank vs. a Wells Fargo, or is that nonsense?   Does independent bank just mean "friendlier", but....smaller, less assets, less efficient, less convenient, fewer services, more costly?    Appreciate any thoughts other might have. 

Will's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 27 2008
Posts: 81
Re: Independent Banks

 I used to live in SC 15 years ago and at the time Farmers and Merchants Banks was considered one of the safest and best capitalized banks around.  I have no idea if that is still the case as a lot can happen in 15 years but i'd check them out.

I closed my Bank of America accounts and credit cards last November and joined a large credit union.  I like the fact that they are non-profit and only out to make enough money to pay everyone's salary and keep themselves adequately capitalized.

PlicketyCat's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 26 2009
Posts: 680
Re: Independent Banks

We're looking to drop BoA and go with a local/independent/private bank when we move to Alaska. We'll keep the BoA credit cards because we hardly use them and never let the balance sit long enough to accrue interest... but they have ridiculous high limits on them, so are great for emergencies.

I'm still torn on credit unions. I like the fact that I'm a member/owner... but I've seen under-capitalized and poorly managed CU's go belly up just as fast and easy as banks and S&Ls.

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