Author Shannon McLay makes the case for taking an old-school approach to an increasingly automated financial service industry, building the trust millennials consumers want with community and personalization

Despite working for a bank for 13 years of my professional life, I’ve always felt as if I had a very superficial relationship with the bank. I treated my bank like it treated me—a transactional counterpart. I only go into a branch unless I absolutely have to and I dread having to call the 800 number if I have a problem with a product. I use banks, but I have no personal ties to any of them; however, banking wasn’t always a transactional relationship.

I’ve heard enough stories from older generations to know that there used to be a local community bank in every community and inside these banks were local bankers who knew all of the customers. They knew if you had young children, they helped you finance your first mortgage or your first car, they helped you secure loans to build your first business, they knew your bank account information and in general they performed a multitude of services for you without charging you high fees. I loved hearing the stories of the special bond people had with their local banker, mostly because it was something I had never experienced and assumed I never would.

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