Our jobs as bankers require us to balance the needs of our depositors, with the needs of our borrowers, the needs of our community and the requirements of the banking regulators.
Big Timber and Sweet Grass County, Harlowton and Wheatland County are small communities and are great places to live. As bankers our jobs and our lives are intertwined with the lives of our customers. We might meet at the grocery store, at the gas station or in a restaurant. We often serve on boards together, go to church together, and cheer our home teams together.
This puts a lot of pressure on us to get it right.
You may have noticed that there is no mention above of meeting the needs of our stockholders. That isn’t necessary because we have found that when we take care of our customers the effect is to take care of the stockholders as well.
Although we are pretty good people, as bankers go, we are still bankers. As part of a local, national and international financial system, we have to answer to both state and federal regulators. All the rules of banking apply. The difference between us and other bankers is how we use the discretion we have.
In some ways as lenders, we are quite conservative. Our credit standards don’t change much—whether good times or hard times. We didn’t get caught up in either the technology bubble in the late 90's and early 2000's or the sub-prime housing crisis in 2007. We stay the course, navigating the changing times with an open mind and conservative approach to lending.
On the other hand, we can be extremely flexible. We are not bound by the cookie cutter mentality that is built into the computer programs that seem to be making the lending decisions elsewhere these days. Here, you will work with real people who can weigh unusual requests and situations without worrying about how it’s done by the big banks. You still might not get the loan, but you’ll get a fair hearing.
Warning: Our bank does not give financial advice. We can’t tell you if your venture will succeed or fail. If you want financial advice hire a consultant. Of course, if you ask, our lending officers might offer a personal opinion about a financial question but it is just that—a personal opinion. You have to use your own judgment.
What our loan officers can tell you is whether we can or cannot make you the loan that you request. The rest is up to you.