Most area financial centers in fine shape, according to Community Bank CEO
By Steve Huffman
Local bankers say talk of a federal bailout of the nation’s financial industry gives many the impression that all banks are on the brink of collapse.
That’s not true, they say.
“Our bank is extremely strong and in good financial shape,” said Bruce Jones, president and chief executive officer of Community Bank of Rowan.
“It’s important the community knows these are not problems with community banks.”
He said despite the fact that the bank was only founded in 2006, it has been showing a profit for almost a year, and now has assets of almost $125 million.
Jones said the success of Community Bank is indicative of the success of most local banks.
“Community banks are not a part of this problem,” Jones said of the sub-prime fiasco that has landed much of the country in a pickle. “The money we lend stays in the community. We know our customers.”
Congress is considering a $700 billion financial bailout to stave off a deepening economic crisis. National economic advisers have warned the country may face a dire economic future without government intervention.
Jones said he supports the bailout, but only because he doesn’t see how some of the nation’s major banking institutions will otherwise survive.
“Most of us are for it,” Jones said of himself and other local lenders. “But only because it’s the only choice we have right now.”
He said the bailout is necessary to restore consumer confidence and said he thinks the nation will weather the current economic storm.
“Once the real estate market gets stronger, we’ll be OK,” Jones said.