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Banking Local: What’s Your Money Up To?

“It’s easy to make a buck.  It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.” – Tom Brokaw

businesswoman uses mobile technology for banking HFG Trust

Regardless of what you’re in the market for, a few taps on your iPhone will have you inundated with options—many of which can be delivered almost instantly, thanks to industry giants like Amazon and Uber. It’s true that advances in technology have empowered consumers with unprecedented access to information, while also impacting business practices in ways our predecessors could have never imagined. Global commerce has connected economies from around the world, bridging the gap between people of all different backgrounds, and confronting consumers with more choices than ever before.

But after serving our community for nearly three decades, at Community First Bank and HFG Trust, one thing has become clear: In a world full of options, we often return to our roots. More and more, we are seeing consumers vote with their dollar by bringing their business to organizations with whom they share common values. This rise in values-driven consumerism has opened the door for startups like Mighty Deposits—a company that helps consumers compare banks based on social-impact performance—to provide even more transparency into how companies operate.

For many, a focus on community investment can be a top concern when selecting a financial institution. Thanks to companies like Mighty Deposits, it’s easier than ever before for consumers to determine what percentage of a financial institution’s assets are invested in specific communities. At Community First Bank, we are extremely proud to have among the highest rates of community investment and, by far, the highest investment rate in the Tri-Cities, as shown here.

It is noteworthy that credit unions are not included in this data. Logically, locally based credit unions are likely to have higher than average community investment rates. However, credit unions are not regulated as stringently as banks and are therefore not required to report the same detail of information, making accurate industry data unavailable. Furthermore, as they do not pay Federal Income Tax or Washington State B&O taxes, credit unions are not contributing to numerous community services funded by such taxes. 

Remember, the basic business of banking is taking deposits from clients and investing those funds in loans and other investments. The choice of loan types and investments is critical to the success of any organization engaged in this business. However, sometimes the most profitable choice may not be best choice for a community. Taking depositor money and investing it in Wall Street investments, or out-of-market lending opportunities, can be a necessary part of the business; but the more such investments dominate a business model, the less the community a bank operates within will benefit.

At Community First Bank and HFG Trust, we are steadfastly focused on remaining a company our community can be proud of. We are always committed to doing the right thing for our client by putting their care ahead of company profit, and we are proud of being an organization that invests in the community we serve, both economically and through direct service. As we continue to grow and evolve with today’s technology, we will continuously return to our roots as a true community bank— and we plan to do so for generations to come.

Eric Pearson, CEO, Community First Bank


This memorandum expresses the views of the author as of the date indicated and such views are subject to change without notice. Community First Bank, HFG Trust, and HFG Advisors have no duty or obligation to update the information contained herein. Further, Community First Bank, HFG Trust, and HFG Advisors make no representation, and it should not be assumed that past investment performance is an indication of future results. Moreover, wherever there is potential profit there is possibility of loss. This memorandum is being made available for educational purposes only and should not be used for any other purpose. The information contained herein does not constitute and should not be construed as an offering of advisory services, banking services, or an offer to sell or solicit and securities or related financial instruments in any jurisdiction. Certain information contained herein concerning economic trends and performance is based on or derived from information provided by independent third-party sources. Community First Bank, HFG Trust, and HFG Advisors believes that the sources from which such information has been obtained are reliable; however, it cannot guarantee the accuracy of such information and has not independently verified the accuracy or completeness of such information or the assumptions on which such information is based. This memorandum, included the information contained herein, may not be copied, reproduced, republished, or posted in any form without the prior written consent of Community First Bank and/or HFG Trust and/or HFG Advisors. HFG Advisors, Inc, is a wholly owned subsidiary of HFG Trust, LLC. HFG Trust, LLC is a Washington state-registered Trust company and wholly owned subsidiary of Community First Bank.