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Study Reveals Millennials’ Banking Preferences

WASHINGTON – A new study released by the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and the Center for Generational Kinetics delved into the banking preferences of the Millennial generation. The research revealed that a majority of Millenials preferred locally owned and operated community banks.

Researchers also sought out banking preferences of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers for comparison, to find that a majority of all generations prefer local banks. The study also detailed Millennials’ entrepreneurial preferences, reporting that 46 percent stated they are interested in learning about starting up and running a successful small business.

“Community banks and Millennials are the perfect fit for one another,” said Chris Lorence, ICBA executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “Both appreciate local business, and both have a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Community banks provide nearly 60 percent of all small business loans under $1 million, so they are an excellent resource for the 46 percent of Millennials who are interested in starting a business.”

The study set to uncover generational trends and attitudes through research. Other findings from the “2014 ICBA American Millennials and Banking Study include:

  • Locally owned and operated banks are the first choice of all Americans for a business loan or other funding.
  • Being a locally operated banking institution is almost twice as important to Americans as being a national or international banking institution.
  • Sixty-six percent of Americans agree that “they wish relationships with banks and financial institutions were more personal.”
  • Almost a quarter of Millennials currently earn at least part of their income from a business they own or have a stake in.
  • Forty-one percent of Millennials said they are very interested in starting up their own business, compared with 34 percent of Gen Xers and 17 percent of Boomers.
  • Over 60 percent of Millennials who intend to start their own business hope to do so within the next two years.

The ICBA represents more than 6,500 community banks across the country. For more information on the study, visit