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Living Locally

Why every localist should bank locally

July 19, 2016

In his book The Better World Shopping Guide (2008), Dr Ellis Jones lists banking as the number one thing you can do to create a better world.

And according to Michael Shuman, prolific author and local economy expert, non-local banks are three times more likely to send your money outside your city.

Let’s look at why the experts agree that banking locally creates the most benefit for our communities.

First, local credit unions and financial institutions tend to offer cheaper services than bigger, non-local banks. They have lower average fees, or in some cases no fees at all, and tend to have higher interest rates on savings.

Second, more than half of the money loaned to small businesses is by local banks. This is because at local banks, those making loan approvals and other important decisions are often a part of the community and thus have more personal interactions with their clients. This makes it easier for them to understand the needs of local businesses and give relevant support.

On the other hand, large banks tend to give very little of their overall resources to small businesses. The image below (AMIBA, 2016) portrays the various percentages at which small businesses receive loans from small (I.E. local) banks.

When your money is deposited in a big bank it is most often invested in other regions or in the stock market in order to generate large profits for the bank. It doesn’t remain in the community and so it does not benefit the local economy or provide social value.

Conversely, when your money is deposited in a local bank or credit union it stays put. It is loaned out to local businesses in your city, granted to local charities, invested in community building initiatives and, in the case of cooperatives, dividends are paid back to members based on the bank’s profits. When your money is entrusted to a local bank, everybody benefits.


​Looking for a ding free bank account? Click here to learn more about First Calgary Financial’s No Fees For Me.
ATB Financial is offering Alberta entrepreneurs free banking for their start up for a year. Click here to learn more.
Need more convincing? Check out these top five reasons to bank locally from Banker’s Toolbox.

Read More

Did you know?

For every $1 spent locally, 30 more cents stays in the local economy.

Featured Event

Sustainability for Breakfast: The Calgary Food Centre

July 22, 2016 - July 22, 2016

4920 17 Ave SE

Sustainability and food go hand in hand. This month’s Sustainability for Breakfast topic will showcase Calgary’s brand new Community Food Centre. A partnership between The Alex and Community Food Centres Canada, The Alex Community Food Centre is slated to open later this year. A Community Food Centre is a welcoming place where people come together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food. Community Food Centres are an innovative, upstream model of addressing food insecurity, mental and physical health, and social isolation in low-income communities through the power of good food. Come learn about the role of the Community Food Centre in Calgary’s sustainable food system, the sustainable features of the garden design, and take a quick tour through the centre. We will hear from: Renee MacKillop, Program Manager, The Alex Community Food Centre and Michael Magnan, Associate, Sr. Landscape Architect, O2 Planning + Design Inc. This session is co-hosted by REAP and The City of Calgary’s Office of Sustainability Visit for transit options. Parking is available around the building. Don't forget to bring your travel mugs for drinks! Arrival, breakfast & networking 7:30-8:00 am Presentations, discussion, and tour 8:00-9:00 am Payment is required at the time of your RSVP and is $10 per person. There will be a limited number of spaces at the door for those wishing to pay by Calgary Dollars. Please reserve one of these spaces by posting a comment.
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Did you know?

Jobs created per $10M: Amazon 14, chains 50, indie businesses 110.