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TRIPLE PLAY: Community banks versus 'big banks'

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Triple Play is a weekly NJBIZ feature that asks top executives in New Jersey to talk about three things related to their industry.

Michael Lesler was recently appointed president and chief executive officer of Bank of New Jersey. He has been president and chief operating officer of the company and the bank since June 2009.

We asked Michael how and why community banks — versus their “big bank” counterparts — can better serve New Jersey small businesses.

Community banks have money to lend. We’re beginning to see sectors of the N.J. economy strengthening and credit quality is on the rise. As a result, now is an ideal time for New Jersey businesses to borrow. Community banks have the flexibility to serve businesses of all sizes.

Community banks are all about building long-term relationships with their customers. Personalized service sets many community banks apart, with extended hours, flexibility, speed and access to decision makers.

Community banks are able to meet the customers’ needs while meeting the bank’s goals. Small businesses in New Jersey who weathered the past six or seven years have diversified and are stronger and more resilient. This means that they are more qualified than ever before to take advantage of the funds community banks have to lend.

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