When we think of banks, we immediately think of large companies and institutions with offices all over the country. Entities considered true world powers with unimaginable capital where customers are simply the tools to achieve the returns needed to grow. There is, however, a branch of the banking sector that wants to distance itself from this traditional idea of banks and that wants to focus on closer objectives with which the population can identify. This is where we find community banking.
These structures focus their efforts on smaller geographic regions where they can serve, in a cross-cutting manner, the people who live there. Precisely in order to move away from a mass banking model that responds to the dominance of large amounts of money, community banks can more easily meet the needs of the individual citizen, families or small and medium-sized businesses that have a turnover within the region. They seek the benefit of the territory and its population because they understand that enrichment has to be symmetrical; if the bank grows, it is because the people who participate in the community have also experienced growth. That is why when it comes to giving credits or loans, they take into account the histories and possibilities of those who have trusted them to deposit their income. And most importantly, they talk about people and not just customers.
Ethics is another factor that is becoming increasingly important in the face of multiple cases of banking hostility. In recent years, society has called for accountability and honesty, especially after the economic crisis of 2008. As banks are responsible for managing people’s money, they have to do it properly. An ethical bank is one that does not participate in the purchase of arms in order not to facilitate armed conflicts that only favour a few.
An ethical bank joins projects that favour, for example:
- Future generations, by providing transversal education in schools or by supporting the talent of young professionals who must have the opportunity to further their studies.
- The labour insertion of everyone (especially vulnerable groups).
- The preservation of the environment is another aspect on the negotiating table.
In short, ethical banking takes into account social responsibility and solidarity when reinvesting money. And most important of all, it does so transparently.
One of the ways to introduce community and ethical banking in today’s society, given the digitalisation of all processes, is to move away from the traditional and old image of what we understand by a bank and introduce a new, incipient and modern one: transforming it into a Neobank.
A neobank is a type of banking structure based on new technologies and which offers people simple and modern products, adapted to the needs of real consumption and with very low commissions.
Despite offering an entirely digital experience, communication with customers does not disappear, but rather is reinforced, as this is the only means of contact between members of the bank and customers. A quick and effective response is the main ingredient for making the Neobank machinery work and thus guaranteeing the trust of the people who use it.
11Onze Banc as a startup company born in the new 20s of the 21st century is a community bank, ethical and Neobank.