What is a mutual bank, and what makes it so beneficial for its banking members?
A mutual bank is a financial institution that is owned by account holders. For instance, because Mercer Savings Bank is a mutual bank, when you open a savings account, you are considered a partial owner of Mercer Savings Bank.
A mutual bank works for account holders, because account holders are owners. By opening an account, obtaining a loan or planning your retirement with Mercer Savings Bank, a mutual bank, you get access to over 130 years of financial expertise and join a community of other account holder-owners.
Decision-Making at a Mutual Bank
While a mutual bank is partly owned by account holders, account holders do not make final decisions for the bank. Instead, a board of directors is responsible for making those decisions. At Mercer Savings Bank, our board of directors consists of local community leaders.
We rely on the board and its officers to ensure that we fulfill our mission of providing excellent service and value to the people of Mercer and Darke counties.
A commercial bank, by contract, is owned by shareholders, which means a commercial bank is more concerned with pleasing individual outside interests instead of bank members and those within your community.
Advantages of Choosing a Mutual Bank
- Better customer service. Mutual bank employees know you’re one of the bank owners and are more than eager to please. They understand that your financial success is the bank’s success, so employees do their best to ensure you’re satisfied with the service you receive.
- Long-term perspective. Unlike commercial banks that must make profits for shareholders every quarter, mutual banks can take a more long-term investment perspective. This permits mutual banks to build beneficial relationships within the community and offer more flexibility to customer-
- Financial stability. Related to the point above, mutual banks are less likely to make risky investments than commercial banks. This can help them weather possible financial recessions more effectively.
- Customer safety. Mutual banks are chartered by state and/or federal governments. Mercer Savings Bank deposits, for example, are insured by the FDIC.
- Profits are reinvested in the community. The profits from loans are usually returned to owners in the form of lower rates on loans and higher rates on deposits. Banks usually donate to community events, too. Mercer Savings Bank has a long history of donating to local school, cultural, and community events , most recently through our Giving Mission.
- Employees invest in the community. Not only do employees buy homes, cars, and other products from local businesses, they frequently volunteer and invest in the communities they serve in other ways.
- Localized, relevant advice. Community members can receive advice from financial professionals who live within their community and understand the issues that local people face. This makes them both more empathetic and more effective in helping you achieve your financial goals.
A Mutual Bank for Mercer and Darke Counties
At Mercer Savings Bank, we’ve been serving Mercer and Darke counties for over 130 years. We’re a mutual bank, which means we don’t have shareholders. You, along with our other customers, own the bank. When you open an account, obtain a loan, or plan your retirement with us, you become part of our banking community! Find out more about what it’s like to be part of the Mercer Savings Bank family here.