Every now and then, a trick can draw a bit of glee (especially during Halloween). But no one likes to have the wool pulled over their eyes, especially when it’s a wolf disguised in sheep’s clothing. That’s why First Community Bank (FCB) of East Tennessee focuses on the “treats” that distinguish us as trusted lenders and keep our customers coming back for more.

We won’t jeopardize our hard-earned reputation by peddling goods and services our customers don’t want or need. We bank the old-fashioned way—one customer, one loan at a time. It’s been our philosophy since the bank’s founding 27 years ago, and it continues to help us serve the unique needs of our customers today. 

Community banks’ relationship-based focus has made them America’s favorite lenders, with approval ratings from  borrowers that exceed those of megabanks and online lenders, according to a Federal Reserve small business credit survey.

It’s not just proximity that wins repeat business, however. Unlike credit unions and the Farm Credit System, FCB effectively serves both individuals of modest means and agricultural borrowers without taxpayer-funded subsidies.

We put our tax dollars to work right here in our community, helping to support local police and fire departments, schools and other municipal services. And FCB helps fortify our community through philanthropic outreach and civic service.

The treats don’t end there. Nearly one in three U.S. counties are only served by a community bank, and community banks focus a relatively large share of their resources on low- and moderate-income tracts. It’s the community banking way.

In fact, community banks fund more than 60 percent of the nation’s small businesses, which account for two out of three new U.S. jobs annually. And we fund more than 80 percent of agriculture loans.

We won’t disguise tricks as treats or leave customers holding the bag during times of need. Our fates are linked. When good things happen for you, we win and so does our community. That’s the community banking difference, and it’s pretty sweet.

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