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Pioneer among those marking Community Banking Month

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April is Community Banking Month for the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), and Pioneer Bank, one of the independent banks in the area, is joining the professional group in shining a spotlight on community banks’ role in fostering economic prosperity.

“Pioneer Bank is proud to have served the citizens of Roswell, Las Cruces, Alamogordo, Ruidoso, Hobbs and Carlsbad for more than 118 years,” says Juliana Halvorson, vice president and marketing director. “As a local lender, we have a stake in our customers’ success.”

Community banks make roughly 60% of small-business loans and 80% of agriculture loans that originate from the banking sector.

They also contribute tax dollars that help maintain local municipalities and keep local neighborhoods viable.

Here are some other facts.

• Community bank loan growth has outpaced that of non-community banks for six consecutive years.

• Community banks added 700 offices between June 2017 and June 2018, even as some larger counterparts continued their exodus from local communities.

• Small businesses that apply for loans with community banks are the most successful and most satisfied, according to a study from the 12 Federal Reserve Banks.

• Civic service is second nature to community banks, as reflected in ICBA’s National Community Bank Service Awards.

“As local small businesses themselves, community banks only thrive when their customers and communities flourish,” ICBA President and Chief Executive Officer Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “Local market knowledge, relationship-based lending and civic-minded service are community banking hallmarks and the cornerstone to our industry’s success and longevity.”