Whether you bank at a small community bank or a larger institution like Wells Fargo or Rabobank it’s important to make sure they are financially healthy on an annual basis according to Peter Martin of KCOE ISOM. Bank financial statements are open to the public. At any time you can go to the FDIC website and access what’s called a “Call Report”.
“Depending on how financially savvy the farmer is, they can literally go through and read their bank’s financial statements on internet,” he says.
Martin recommends an easier way of checking on your bank.
“BankRate.com has created a star rating system,” Martin shares. “One star means your bank is experiencing financial distress, 5 stars means they are as sound of an institution as you’ll find.”
Another way to check out how your bank is doing is to look them up on the internet according to Patrick Hamilton, vice president of Ag Lending for First Financial Bank.
"Do an internet search of your bank and see if there are any stories about what they are doing," he says.
It’s important to make sure all is well because if your bank goes under, you want to be prepared.
“We’ve been in too many situations where a farmer either knew the bank was unhealthy and thought it would improve or were blindsided by their bank’s failure,” he says. “You want to avoid both.”