Community Banks Remain In Top Tiers
Kris Ausborn, President & CEO of Iowa Trust & Savings Bank in Emmetsburg, was among four bankers nationwide to be interviewed on National Public Radio last week. The bankers gave comment on the current economic condition of community banks as banks nationwide struggle with the sub-prime mortgage disaster.
“I was able to tell them that the Midwest has enjoyed excellent grain prices and aside from the affects on retirement accounts, the downturn has had minimal effect on most of our customers,” said Ausborn.
The question of the security of community banks was also addressed on the program.
“Community banks, including Iowa Trust & Savings Bank, are well capitalized,” said Ausborn. “We have sound, conservative loan policies and we know our customers.”
Ausborn noted that independent rating agencies have the vast majority of community banks rated in the top two tiers. Ausborn currently serves as President of the Community Bankers of Iowa for 2008-09.
“We understand that more difficult times will be, and may already be, affecting the Midwest,” said Ausborn. “Our purpose is to make sure that our customers anticipate the economic downturn and prepare for it.”
Ausborn pointed out that Iowa Trust is primarily an agriculture bank. “Our customers are also fiscally conservative and have been applying increased net income to pay their loans ahead of time.”
He added, “Iowa Trust has enjoyed strong earnings which is a real reflection of the strength of our local economy. Our message is to give our customers reassurance. We are in a good area. We will have trying times, and we will get through it.”