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- Community banks have a solid footing in the American landscape
- Take a few precautions when filling up that virtual shopping cart
- There's nothing scary about choosing the Bank of Holland as your full-service bank
- Relieve stress: keep a balanced checkbook
- Events Calendar
Community banks have a solid footing in the American landscape
If you could take a snapshot of the American banking industry, 75 percent of the photo would be taken up by nine banks -- the so-called mega banks, including Bank of America, Citi, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and others, many of which are familiar names because we associate them with the financial crisis of 2008. Taking up 25 percent of the picture, however, you would see some large and mid- to small-sized regional banks, and many smaller community banks. Even though the big guys may take up most of the photo, those smaller banks -- like the Bank of Holland -- are a critical part of the composition.
Our role is to focus on the needs of local small- and mid-sized businesses who want a personal approach to their banking; and on the socio-economic climates of our individual communities. By turning our backs on what the big guys depend on most -- a one-size-fits-all approach -- we have developed a very profitable niche that is comfortable for us and beneficial to the communities in which we operate.
Most community bankers live in the areas which our businesses serve. The deposits entrusted to us by our customers are re-directed into the community through our lending policies. If you want to talk to me or any one of our vice presidents, we're just a phone call away. Just try getting the CEO of Bank of America on the line. Our familiarity with the local business environment and our size allows us to be responsive to the needs of our individual and business clients.
Community banking has seen solid growth since the mid-1980s. At that time, roughly 25 percent of all deposits were in mid-size to smaller regional and community banks. Today those deposits are at 50 percent.
Part of our stability has come from the fact we attract older, financially established customers who have shown great loyalty to us and who do most of their banking at their local branch. Now, with today's technology, you can be thousands of miles away from the Bank of Holland and run your finances as though we were right around the corner. That lets us appeal to an even broader audience.
We may never become the biggest piece of that snapshot, but we will continue to take over a larger and larger portion of it, while at the same time honoring our niche -- providing personalized services and contributing to our local communities.
Mark L. Luderman
Take a few precautions when filling up that virtual shopping cart
More than 80 percent of people who go online have purchased something on the Internet in the past year, with 50 percent buying online more than once. Online shopping worldwide is growing at a rate of 19 percent each year and is predicted to reach almost $1.4 trillion by the year 2015. In the U.S. alone, e-commerce is growing 10 percent each year.
As the above numbers show, chances are you'll be shopping online this Holiday Season. It's time saving, you don't have to fight the crowds, there's great variety, you can save money, and you'll certainly save on gas. But as you fill up your virtual shopping cart, take a few precautions to make sure your shopping experience is safe and secure.
• Button down your computer -- set your firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software to automatically scan and update your PC.
• Use web sites that are familiar to you, and look for the lock. Every shopping site URL should start with HTTPS:// -- the "S" is essential. And double-check the URL to make sure you're on the site you intended to be on. URLs can be remarkably similar and one character can make a difference between a secure site and an unsecured site.
• Passwords should not include personal information such as birthdays or maiden names. Use unique combinations that mix letters, numbers and non-alphanumeric characters.
• Never share personal information, your Social Security number or your Drivers' License number -- the more an unlawful person knows about you, the easier it is for him or her to steal your identity.
• Check your bank and credit card statements throughout the month, not just at the end of the billing cycle -- especially during the Holiday Season.
• If you use your Smart Phone to shop (The National Retail Federation says 5.7 percent of adults do) use Apps provided by the retailers you deal with, such as Amazon and Target.
• Sitting in your favorite coffee shop with your laptop or tablet? Only use the wireless if you access the Web over a virtual private network (VPN) connection.
Online shopping is a great convenience and can be very safe when you follow these safety tips!
Don't be spooked :
There's nothing scary about choosing the Bank of Holland as your full-service bank
Diane Curthoys, Assistant Branch Manager, Holland
You may have been a little spooked when you first moved one of your bank accounts to the Bank of Holland. You knew our reputation for excellent service, local lending, and community investment, but how did you know we weren't just putting on a mask to get your attention?
Now that you've worked with us for awhile, you know we weren't just trying out our costumes for Halloween. As one of the 7,000 Independent Community Banks of America (ICBA), the Bank of Holland prides itself in upholding the standards of our national organization. We focus on the needs of local families and businesses. When you call us, you're not talking to someone halfway around the globe, you're talking to someone who lives and works in the same community as you.
Community banks can fulfill all of your banking needs, from simple checking and savings, to loans and mortgages, and business accounts. Your deposits (which are FDIC insured) are re-invested in the community through loans that help our neighborhoods stay vibrant and growing. We understand our local marketplace and the ups and downs of the economic cycles in our area -- and we stick by our customers through good times and bad.
When you have a banking need, talk to us first. If it's a loan or mortgage, we consider character, family history and discretionary spending, not just a three-number credit score, kept by a remote reporting agency. If you aren't sure you're getting the best deal on your small business account, have one of our staff analyze the numbers. In most cases, we save money for businesses who bank with us. And if you don't have an Advantage Plus checking account -- have you taken a serious look at the amount of interest your money can earn in return for a few simple requirements on your part?
Bank of Holland is dedicated to offering our customers the best banking experience we possibly can on all fronts. Our online and mobile banking systems are free and easy to use. Now that you know there's nothing spooky about us, come in and talk about letting us look after more of your banking needs. No tricks -- just treats!
Relieve stress: keep a balanced checkbook
Keeping your checkbook in balance gives you peace of mind and saves money. If you go over your balance and have to pay a fee, it can cost $25 to $35 for each check that bounces. With today's online banking, it's easier to keep an eye on your account, but you should still reconcile your checkbook records with your statement at the end of each month.
"As you go through the month you should be writing down every check, ATM or automatic withdrawal and fee, as it comes out of your account. Then when your statement arrives either in the mail or by email, you need to compare your records with the bank's records," said Laurie Monin, Customer Service.
"It's great that so much of our banking today is done electronically, but there is still room for error."
After you have checked that all transactions have been recorded and are correct, subtract any checks that have not yet cleared the bank from the balance listed on your statement. The resulting balance should coincide with the balance you have written in your checkbook.
"If you have financial management software such as Quicken on your computer, it's even easier. You just record your purchases in the program as you make them," Monin said. "Then when your statement comes, you can simply run a program to balance your account."
Overdraft protection is available just in case you do exceed your balance. This is usually a line of credit, and since it does incur interest you will want to pay it off as early as possible.
"As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," Monin said. "Make sure you record all of your transactions, check your account online frequently and balance your statement every month. You'll be able to sleep easy, knowing you are not going to overdraw your account."
The Community Advent Chorale Handel's Messiah
United Methodist Church
Center & Main St., East Aurora, NY
Saturday, December 7, 2013 7:30 p.m
Roycroft Winter Arts & Crafts Festival
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Sunday, December 8, 2013
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
East Aurora Middle School
430 Main Street, East Aurora, NY
Holland Community Choir Holiday Concert
'The Light of Christmas'
December 6, 2013 7:30 p.m.
December 7, 2013 3:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
December 8, 2013 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 21, 2013
7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Historic Main Street
East Aurora, NY 14052