A local bank in Eastern Kentucky with great relationships with their members and communities.
Sometimes, a great community bank or credit union doesn’t necessarily have to be extremely vocal about the work they do in their communities, or have a grand mission that, while ideal, isn’t necessarily realistic. A locally-focused bank can be exceptional through providing solid loans and banking services and having honored their personal commitment to their members and neighborhoods.
Citizens Guaranty Bank is a wonderful example of a Better Banking Option that doesn’t necessarily make serving the underserved their explicit priority, but still manages to do so through consistent work maintaining their communities and relationship to that community. With their HQ in London, KY, they have 6 branches in total, in Berea, Richmond and Irvine, as well as London. On their website, they acknowledge that large, institutionalized banking doesn’t work for most people and emphasize relational banking, as well as stating, “we believe that living and working in the community in turn enables the community to prosper to its fullest extent.” One great program they’ve enacted is a mock bank operating within a high school in London which teaches the students how loans and savings work and gets them prepared to be financially independent.
A little over half of their lending portfolio goes to housing. While we are unfortunately unable at this time to obtain statistics regarding how much of this housing focus goes to low-and-moderate income families, it is reasonable to suspect that a significant amount of it does, as all of their locations are in low-and-moderate-income areas of Eastern Kentucky, where the income level is typically lower than many parts of the country. They meet our benchmarks for return on assets and what percentage of their assets are lent out, and have achieved a Satisfactory CRA rating, indicating their performance is reliably solid.
Their eligibility is open to anyone, and they offer online banking options which make it possible for anyone to invest in this Better Banking Option. We would recommend this bank to anyone looking to invest in small town communities in Eastern Kentucky. To learn more about Citizens Guaranty Bank, visit their website.