The Feeling is Mutual Podcast

Community Banking Week: What is Mutuality?

April 04, 2023 First Federal Savings Bank Season 1 Episode 3
Community Banking Week: What is Mutuality?
The Feeling is Mutual Podcast
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The Feeling is Mutual Podcast
Community Banking Week: What is Mutuality?
Apr 04, 2023 Season 1 Episode 3
First Federal Savings Bank

Thrift, Savings and Loan, Mutual Savings Bank - these terms have been used over the years to identify the type of charter held by First Federal Savings Bank. But what does that mean?

Show Notes Transcript

Thrift, Savings and Loan, Mutual Savings Bank - these terms have been used over the years to identify the type of charter held by First Federal Savings Bank. But what does that mean?

Speaker 1 (00:08):
Welcome to the Feeling is Mutual Podcast. I'm your host, Tracy Bedeker, vice President of Marketing at First Federal Savings Bank. We are a community bank with a mutual charter. If you thought banking was boring, the feeling is mutual. But we're here to take the boring out of banking. In this podcast, we will bring our listeners real life stories and education on financial topics, and it's all going to be delivered in a quick, fun, and interesting format. In conjunction with Community Banking Week. We are going to talk bank and what better person to talk bank with than our very own bank president. Konni Rodeghier. Konni, welcome. 

Speaker 2 (01:00):
Thank you Tracy. Glad to be here. 

Speaker 1 (01:02):
Oh, and I am happy to have you. As I mentioned, the name of our podcast is, the Feeling is Mutual, so I thought maybe you could give some of the background of that meaning to our listeners. 

Speaker 2 (01:14):
Sure. So the feeling is mutual is a little bit of a play on words. We have a mutual charter that is a type of savings bank that is different from a commercial bank or a credit union in that we are owned by our depositors. Mutuals have been around since the 18 hundreds focused on home lending, taking in deposits, lending those out in our community. So it's a little bit different. Type of charter is a mutual community bank. 

Speaker 1 (01:43):
Oh, absolutely. I don't think a lot of people really understand what that means. And you know, I guess from a customer perspective, why should I care? Whether it's a community bank, a savings loan, a big bank. 

Speaker 2 (01:57):
Yeah, right. That's a good question. You know, a privately held mutual savings bank is kind of like what you would consider a small business in your community. Comparing your local coffee shop to a Starbucks or a locally owned restaurant to Applebee's. It's a different connection to those businesses and we have that type of connection with our 

Speaker 1 (02:18):
Customers. That's a very good explanation. And I think to go along with that, Konni, talking about our people, cuz our people are also what matters and what makes us unique and different. You know, we have a lot of longevity here in our employees and a lot of experts, shall we say. 

Speaker 2 (02:39):
Yeah, absolutely. You know, there's some things that really should make a difference for our customers. The vast majority of our deposit and lending is local to our market areas, so that's really important to our customers. We're also led, as you mentioned about our people managed, operated by members of our communities. We go to the same schools, we shop at the same stores, go to the same coffee shops. Our management team from the top down is hands-on and accessible to our customers. And because we don't have stock and shareholders, we don't face the same profit pressures. Of course, we wanna be profitable, everybody does, but we need to make sound financial decisions for the bank. You're not gonna see big swings in our products, our fees to drive profits. 

Speaker 1 (03:27):
Konni, you mentioned big swings. You know, that's a very good analogy. Banks, they've certainly been in the news quite a bit and I know a lot of it sounds negative, but not necessarily so for us. 

Speaker 2 (03:41):
Right, right. I mean, we've probably learned a lot more about bank balance sheets than you ever thought you would know in these last couple of weeks. And I guess, you know, when I look at managing our balance sheet, I, I look at it with a baseball analogy. We're not swinging for the fences when we're making investment in loan decisions. We're going for singles and doubles, get 'em on, bring 'em around and bring 'em home. Kind of small ball style play. It's not flashy, it's more stable and it's more consistent. 

Speaker 1 (04:09):
Now did you say that because of baseball season gearing up here? Yep. And you are a 

Speaker 2 (04:16):

Speaker 1 (04:16):
Cubs. Cubs fan. Wow. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I am too. Konni, you had mentioned we don't face the same profit pressures and we do invest in other areas. Would you like to elaborate a little bit more on what those areas mean to a customer? 

Speaker 2 (04:34):
Yeah. You know, you might think that a mutual savings bank or a smaller bank would be behind on technology, and that is absolutely not the case. We have over decades had a strong commitment to technology and offering the very best online mobile payment methods and features because we know our customers need and expect those features. But we also know it's not a replacement for personal service. We serve our customers where they wanna be served, when they're on the go, on mobile, on a laptop, or of course in our offices in person. Mm-hmm. 

Speaker 1 (05:10):
<affirmative>, and I may be biased, but I do feel that first federal savings bank is at the top of their game, not only in technology, but also with our people. Our people. It's what it's all about. Giving them the tools to reach out to our customers and to give them the information that they are looking for. 

Speaker 2 (05:32):

Speaker 1 (05:34):
What is one thing, Konni, a perspective customer should know about the bank, if they wanna know a little bit more about 

Speaker 2 (05:42):
Us, and it's important to know the difference, you know, the mutuality versus a commercial bank, but when you bank with us, you really are supporting the community because we're gathering deposits, core banking activities, checking savings, CDs, and then we're taking those deposit funds and we're making loans, mortgage loans, small business loans, the vast majority of that right. Within our community. So very traditional core banking. The one thing you really should know is that we value each and every individual customer. We're gonna get to know you, we're gonna determine your financial needs, and we wanna make you a customer for life, because that's our business model. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, 

Speaker 1 (06:21):
You know, we have a lot of very unique features as a community bank. 

Speaker 2 (06:25):
Yeah. You know, we talked about technology, but one of the things that we talk about all the time that is never a replacement for personal service. Our customers need to be able to talk to us in person, whether that's on the phone or that's an email, or that's walking into our branches. They need to know that we are still people here, that they can do businesses, that we know them, we know their names. We can offer all the technology in the world, but that's a convenience and that's never a replacement for that personal relationship. 

Speaker 1 (06:54):
Absolutely. Well, Konni, thank you very much for shedding some light on this interesting topic, and we would like to thank everyone again for listening. We invite you to stop into the bank, especially during community banking week. Also remember www dot f FSB web. You can read more about Community Banking week and all of our other informational topics that we have on our site and on our blog. Thank you very much, Konni, and we look forward to bringing everyone another interesting podcast very soon.