Iowa Trust and Savings Bank: 122 Years of Serving Appanoose County
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Community banks help local economies thrive. They create jobs and invest in community success by providing individual and small business loans. They also benefit people by providing a more personal customer service experience as well as giving back to the communities they serve.
Iowa Trust and Savings Bank is the only community bank in Appanoose County. Since 1896, the fifth generation, family-owned bank has served area residents and businesses. It employs on average around 35 people between its location in Moravia and the home office in Centerville.
The bank, which is built upon ag and commercial business, sets itself apart from corporate competitors by prioritizing customer service. At a time when the customer experience has become impersonal and automated, Iowa Trust employs receptionists to greet people — not just with a human voice on the phone but with a smile as they walk through the door.
“Customers are our neighbors. We get to know their names and we get to know their families. We all live in this community together,” says Marketing Officer Dustin Harvey.
Startup businesses and small businesses that want to expand often struggle to obtain the financing they need from big banks. That’s why Iowa Trust partners with the Appanoose Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) in order to offer flexible financing options to assist area entrepreneurs.
“Say a new or existing business customer wants to borrow $500,000 for a new facility or facility upgrade but they don’t have enough collateral and or business sales and history to be approved for the full amount. They might only be able to get $250,000 from the bank but they could qualify for AEDC’s revolving loan fund to get to the $500,000 amount they originally needed,” explains Harvey.
By working with AEDC, the bank’s risk is mitigated and small business owners get the funds they need to startup or expand. “It’s a win-win,” Harvey says.
The Iowa Trust and Savings Bank is involved in local philanthropy as well. Among its donations is an annual $10,000 annual gift to the YMCA. This year, when the YMCA had an immediate need to replace its air conditioning system, the bank’s owners opted to quadruple the donation to $40,000 to make that possible.
“We pride ourselves on giving back to the community,” says Harvey.
Bank officers are encouraged to be active in the community. Many volunteer and serve in leadership roles on various nonprofit boards. Harvey is involved in the local chamber of commerce and Main Street Centerville. Serving with other area leaders helps the bank forge connections and better the community.
It also helps solidify the bank’s success. Being integrated in the community in this way helps ensure the bank is in tune with the needs of the people its serves.
“We’re always evolving. We’re still here and we’re still stable and strong. The bank is 12 decades in the making now and we don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon,” says Harvey.