Opening a community banking organization in 2005 could have been a non starter, but Michigan’s Main Street Bank is a great example of a community bank that has evolved to meet the needs of the community while simultaneously managing the challenges of the larger economy.
Unlike big national banks, MSB had to think critically and strategically about how to best meet customer needs as they worked to establish their community banking organization while experiencing the first waves of trouble with both the auto and home industry. But, with careful planning and responsiveness to the customers they serve, Main Street Bank has come out on top, and boasts satisfied customers, great community offerings, and an expanded range of services for both personal and business customers.
Jeffrey Kopelman, President, Founder and CEO of Main Street Bank, has been involved in banking for almost 40 years. When he started MSB in 2005 and saw the writing on the wall shortly thereafter, he says that MSB focused on commercial lending and avoiding getting involved in the oversaturated and increasingly riskly personal mortgage business. The bank survived the rocky times of the late 2000s, only to decide in 2010 to start offering mortgage services to customers after seeing a great number of mortgage businesses close in 2008 and 2009. Kopelman says the transition went smoothly, but it was a huge growth moment for Main Street: “in one day, we went from 12 employees to 49.”
This growth continued, and then, in 2012, Kopelman shares that “Main Street Bank had the highest return on assets and equity of any bank its size in the United States.” It’s a success story that makes sense, because, unlike a large national bank that’s “too big to fail,” MSB had to be careful and thoughtful about managing and growing community assets during a volatile time. How did they do it? By employing a team of experienced, responsive employees, and staying committed to the community that they serve.
Says Kopelman, “It’s our specialized services that set us apart. As President and CEO of the bank, my direct number is on my card and I answer it myself.” Kopelman says his accessibility “surprises a lot of people,” but that’s just one small way that MSB distinguishes itself as a true community bank.
Customers large and small want to have a real relationship with their banking organization, and they’re able to get that at MSB, along with the flexibility of a smaller banking organization, plus a wide network of referrals to mortgage and business professionals that MSB employees have cultivated as they’ve grown their personal mortgage business and SBA lending programs.
And the power of MSB’s work can also be seen in a range of community offerings year round. From sponsored free music events during the summer time, to local sports events, you’ll see the Main Street Bank truck there offering free treats and positivity to the community, as well as tangible financial support.
If you’re ready to put your assets with a bank who knows how to ride the waves of a changing economy, contact us today and see why it pays to keep your money close to home!