I wanted to write a piece on this based on my great experience with a small local bank (Virginia Heritage Bank) for our current mortgage loan. I'm happy to report that the Washington Post has done it for me.
Three cheers for the little guys:
"Banks throughout the United States carried on with the business of making loans yesterday even as federal officials warned again that their industry is on the verge of collapse, suggesting that the overheated language on Capitol Hill may not reflect the reality on many Main Streets.
The industry is resilient despite the struggles of some members. Washington Mutual, a troubled Seattle savings and loan that was among the nation's largest mortgage lenders, yesterday was seized by the government and sold to J.P. Morgan Chase.
At the same time, many smaller banks said they were actually benefiting from the problems on Wall Street. Deposits are flowing in as customers flee riskier investments, and well-qualified borrowers are lining up for loans.
'We collect money from local savers, and we lend it in the local community,' said William Dunkelberg, chairman of Liberty Bell Bank in Cherry Hill, N.J. 'We're doing fine. There are 9,000 financial institutions out there, and most of them are small and most of them are doing fine.'"