BTB: Community Savings Bank


It’s an errand that many of us take for granted, but the people at Community Savings Bank
have worked hard to continue to offer their services to the community. Their customers aren’t just going to the bank; they’re visiting, talking, and laughing. Community Savings Bank has been mutually invested in the community since the late 1800s, and it shows.

The bank, located in a renovated Sohio station in downtown Greenfield, is full of familiar faces. Nearly every employee has been with the bank for over 10 years. Kelley McNeil is one of the long-time employees of Community Savings Bank, and greets customers by name as they walk through the door. Kelley joined the team in 1987, followed by Sandy Olaker in 1992, Charlene Sterling in 1998, and Merri Storts in 2003. The Greenfield group has an average of 27 years experience amongst its employees. “We do have a loyal crew,” Kelley remarked.

In 1886, the bank opened as the Home Building and Loan Company. It was started by individuals who wanted their own bank that gave back to the community. As a mutual savings and loan company, it would be owned by the people who made deposits. Many of the deposits made then were under $10, which granted the loans that helped to build Greenfield as we know it. The institution and its values remained virtually unchanged for almost 130 years. Even until 2012, everything was handwritten.IMG_1086 (1)

In 2012, the bank finally went digital in order to meet industry regulations. “We grew with the customers.” said Kelley McNeil, Assistant Vice President & Branch Manager, who explained that customers of all ages are beginning to use technology for banking more and more.

Recently, to keep up with changing industry compliance regulations, the Home Building and Loan Company had to find a partner — another institution with the same values. That search lead them to Community Savings Bank of Bethel, Ohio. Just three years apart in age and both highly dedicated to their community, the two institutions merged on September 12, 2014 to form Community Savings Bank. This new partnership provided a strong foundation for the bank and brought about a more rounded banking experience for the customers. They are now a full-service bank; where before there was only savings, now there is checking, debit cards, CDs, long term mortgage loans, and fixed rate mortgage loans. John Essen, President and Director, and James Wilson, Vice President, described to me the incredible amount of time, effort, and resources that went into preserving the values of the bank. Wilson explained, “There is so much more [to banking] than taking money and making deposits.”

Through the recent transitions and advancements, Community Savings Bank’s conviction always comes down to the people they serve (as the name implies.) Wilson beamed, “They are the heart and soul of the institution.” | Article by Maddie CuppDSC_1401