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Banker Encourages Customers to Stay Local

Bob Kettenmann has watched a growing movement for people to shop locally. As president and chief operating officer for Darien Rowayton Bank , he knows that means more than just groceries and produce.

“The buy local movement really is applicable to banking. People have the opportunity to put their money in a bank that is a part of, and reinvests in, their community,” said Kettenmann.

He knows banking: His father worked in the industry. When it was time to head off to college, Kettenmann chose to pursue a degree in finance. He worked for 26 years at Chase Manhattan Bank and another five years at Dime Savings. In between those two positions, he worked as a financial consultant.

He came to Darien Rowayton Bank in 2008. “I had spent most of my career in large institutions. I was interested in spending some time in smaller, grassroots community banks,” Kettenmann said.

Customers who seek out smaller community banks don’t have to sacrifice in terms of service because as Kettenmann says, his bank offers all the products they are likely to find at larger institutions, with exceptional personal service.

If anything, Kettenmann says the community-driven banks might offer a leg up on helping the customers. At the larger banks, many loan decisions are made in separate departments. So even though a customer might have a good relationship with the staff inside the bank, the decisions could be made elsewhere.

That isn’t to say Kettenmann is critical of the big banks. He respects that they handle large volume and their methodologies are the right approach in many circumstances. But at this point in his life, he values the interactions a community-grown institution offers, particularly in its ability to service that same community in return.

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