How We Are Different
We Are Here for YOU. Because We Are Owned by YOU.
Community First is a not-for-profit financial cooperative. That means Members own us. Guess who gets really great personal service? Owners. Because they are the boss.
We work lean (but not mean) and return excess revenues to Members’ pockets. Higher deposit rates, lower loan rates, no or ridiculously low fees, and the kind of personal service banks gave up long ago as unprofitable.
Banks are owned by shareholders (people who buy stock). Most shareholders aren’t even customers of the bank; but they own stock to make money. The primary responsibility of a bank is to make money for its shareholders. Nothing wrong with that; it’s capitalism at work. But guess who gets squeezed so that shareholders can make more and more money every quarter? Bank customers and, during the trillion-dollar Big Bank bail-out, taxpayers.
Here is how else we are different:
- When you deposit a dollar at the Sonoma County branch of a national bank, your locally earned buck is likely loaned out to fund homes or businesses in far off places. Maybe for a townhouse in Texas or an oil rig in Dubai. That helps the economy –– there. But not here, where YOU live.
- A dollar deposited at Community First goes right back into our LOCAL economy. It has to. You see, Community First has what’s called a “community charter.” It requires us to make our loans locally.
Keeping Sonoma County money working for Sonoma County residents makes for a sustainable local economy. This helps create local jobs, fund services for local schools, roads and the environment.