The Importance of Knowing a Local Banker

By Beth Dedman on Thursday, March 31, 2022

The beauty of banking in Arkansas is the bounty of local bankers eager to help you along your financial journey. You will want to have a relationship established with a local banker when the time comes that you want to buy your first home, to refinance, to be an entrepreneur and need a small (or big) business loan, or do anything else to build your future. These relationships can be powerful.

When you have an established history with a banker, and need a loan or line of credit, their history with you as a customer will help with getting loans approved. If you aren't necessarily the ideal customer on paper, but they know you've never missed a payment and repaid all previous loans, they'll vouch for you to get the best rate and get the loan underwritten.

“The thing that I love about being in this industry is the impact that local bankers can have in their communities,” says Lorrie Trogden, President and CEO of the Arkansas Bankers Association. "It’s very fulfilling to know that this industry makes such a difference in people’s everyday lives.”

Even before you need money, you can start working with your banker on ways to prepare for your financial future and ask them questions to make sure that you understand what you’re getting into. They are there to help you set financial goals, achieve them and then work on the next one. The importance of working with your local banker is that they can help you with the entire life cycle of your financial needs. Even small financial goals can add up over a lifetime to be very beneficial to you financially.

“It’s never too early to start thinking about your finances,” Trogden says. “Starting the habit of saving early can help throughout our entire lives.”

"Banks are the cornerstone of their communities. It is about so much more than just opening checking accounts and things like that. they are there to work with you to shape your financial future.” -Lorrie Trogden, President/CEO of The Arkansas Bankers Association

Banks We Love: 8 Great Options When Choosing Your First Bank

Arvest Bank
Arkansas branches: 99
Fave tool: Arvest's YouTube channel offers cool, easy-to-understand tips on banking and finances.

Signature Bank of Arkansas
Arkansas branches: 8
Fave tool: The Signature FinancialVue—an interactive tool for managing your money

Centennial Bank
Arkansas branches: 85
Fave tool: Its "Save the CENTS" program (If your purchase was $9.75, $0.25 automatically gets moved into your savings account!)

First Arkansas Bank & Trust
Arkansas branches: 12
Fave tool: Its app and mobile wallet, and handy online calculators

First National Bank
Arkansas branches: 21
Fave tool: Its fun and informative "First Take" podcast (learn more at Digital Money Must-Haves.)

Stone Bank
Arkansas branches: 7
Fave tool: Cool interactive teller machines and inviting branches

Bank of America
Arkansas branches: 16
Fave tool: It's awesome "Better Money Habits" site and its helpful Instagram posts

Farmers & Merchants Bank
Arkansas branches: 28
Fave tool: The Me Banking mobile app and text banking feature, and IDProtect™