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Community Bank Blog

What Does it Mean to be a Community Bank?

Every community needs a bank. Somewhere to keep funds safe & provide credit when it’s needed. When Reuben Lisco founded the town of Lisco in the early 1900’s, he founded our bank along with it, aiming to serve the farmers & ranchers settling the Nebraska Panhandle. Today, we operate Points West Community Bank, staying true to the spirit of service and community Reuben inspired.

When you bank with a true community bank you’re directly investing in your community. Your money is held locally, providing the bedrock for which we can lend funds to your neighbors and the businesses down the street. At a large national bank, that’s not always the case. A deposit made in Sidney could be used as the basis for a loan to a Fortune 500 company in Chicago.

For a community banker, the goal is always to build a relationship – never a transaction. We recognize that we’re lending to a person, not a tax return. We bring knowledge & expertise not just in finance, but in the people we’re working with & the communities we grew up in. And while we’re no stranger to paperwork, a handshake always takes priority. This relationship-based approach is especially important to small businesses that may have a tough time meeting the structured requirements found at corporate banks.

Traditionally, community banks are privately-owned & locally-controlled. In our case, we’ve been family-owned since 1935, when Harold Olson took over for Reuben as the bank’s second president. While the Olsons are an active part of the bank’s day-to-day business, Points West’s real strength lies in our local leadership. Credit decisions are made at each branch, every day. Our committees are built by bankers from the same area – never more than a handful of counties – to guarantee local voices are the loudest. Our board of directors consists of a few bankers alongside folks & farmers that live and work in our communities.

It’s easy to think that because a community bank is small, it doesn’t have the same capabilities that a large bank does. That simply isn’t true. Points West has invested time in the right products to meet the needs of our communities and compete with the national chains. The service you’ll find here, you won’t find elsewhere. We’re your neighbor, and we couldn’t be more proud to serve the