Community banks are keeping bank branches open, with 84% responding to a recent survey that they have not closed a single branch in the past 12 months. The State of Community Banking survey issued by consulting firm Wipfli also found that 32% of community banks have their farthest branches 10-20 miles from their headquarters and 23% have their farthest branches more than 41 miles away from their headquarters.
The survey of 177 community banks in 33 states also found that community banks are increasing the services they offer, with 77% responding that they have added wealth advisory services in the past three years. Fifty-six percent of banks responded that they have added trust services in the last three years and the same percent said that they have added insurance services in that time. Community banks are also exploring adding cryptocurrency services, the survey found, with 29% saying that they expect to add these services within the next 18 months.
A top concern for community banks was talent management, the survey found, with 74% rating it as a primary concern. Nearly half said a labor shortage is a factor in talent management and 67% said they are “extremely concerned” about employee retention and recruitment.