OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE MONTANA INDEPENDENT BANKERS ASSOCIATION

Pub. 9 2021 Issue 3

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President’s Message

MIB Community Banker
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For those of you who know me, or have read some of my articles, it is no secret I am a fervent advocate of community banking in Montana and a relentless supporter of independent banks across our great state. I believe in the mission of the MIB completely and am always trying to think of ways the MIB can improve its service to the membership. I am fortunate to be part of the MIB board of directors, which is populated with some of the brightest minds in Montana’s banking community. Together, we work on issues of concern for Montana’s independent community banks and try hard to spread the word regarding the value these banks bring to their cities and towns. To that end, the MIB has embarked on a digital advertising campaign across Montana designed to bring awareness to all our customers of the care we have for them and their financial and personal well-being. When clicked on, the ads bring the customer to an MIB landing page that gives them an option of finding an MIB member bank in their community. Since May, the campaign has delivered close to a million impressions and has generated a click-through rate better than the national average. These customers are getting the message of how we distinguish ourselves from the too big to fail banks — they actively search us out because they value the service and friendship we bring to their lives.

The MIB also offers advocacy at the state legislature on issues that affect community banking in Montana. The MIB works closely with the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) in staying abreast of vital issues that affect community banks. With this national level of support, the MIB has been very effective in having a voice at the state level on issues of concern to Montana’s independent community banks. We also offer robust educational webinars, weekly email news, a monthly newsletter, and a professional quarterly magazine that you are presently reading. In addition, there is an annual tradeshow and convention that gives bankers time to re-connect with colleagues and associate members who bring tremendous value to our organizations. The convention is always a fun time and is family-friendly with seminars, activities, and amazing guest speakers. Being a member of the MIB family is beneficial to you in so many ways. It’s a group dedicated to preserving your business and your way of life and dedicated to helping the people in the communities we serve. Montana’s independent community banks are the economic lifeblood of so many small towns across Montana. We truly make peoples’ dreams come true.

With that being said, I would love to hear from our member banks how we could better serve you. Our goal is to bring value to your organization through advocacy, education, literature, activities and more. But there is always more we could be doing. Anything you think would be useful as a value-added component of the MIB will be heard with receptive ears. We have a long and illustrious history of being there for Montana’s independent banks, and we will continue our mission well into the future. With the rapid pace of mergers and acquisitions, it is now more important than ever for us to stand together and protect our interests. If you are friends with an independent banker whose bank is not an MIB member, I would ask you to ask them to join our family. There is strength in numbers, and I firmly believe our values are in alignment. We stand for what you stand for. Helping our customers and helping each other be successful in our chosen craft and bettering our communities through the provision of responsible financial service. We give and we help. That’s what we do. It’s the hallmark of banking in Montana.

Now is the time for us to let our voices be heard on the state and national level, and our membership is key to our ability to stand up for ourselves amid the constant financial and regulatory pressure we endure. If we continue to stand up for ourselves and show our banking brothers and sisters we are here for them and here for our communities, we will always have a place at the table, and our legacies will live on as they should.

Thank you for being a part of the MIB and thank you for encouraging others to be involved as well. Only through dedicated cooperation and purposeful action will we be able to tell our grandkids how we helped keep a precious Montana industry alive and thriving. We’ve done it so far, and I’m confident we will be here far into the future. All it takes is teamwork and commitment, which is an area where I know you all demonstrate unbelievable excellence. Keep up the good work! I look forward to hearing from you.

Andrew West
MIB President

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