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April is Community Banking Month

Go Local with ICBA and First Community Bank and Trust

Beecher, Illinois (April 1, 2012)—April is Community Banking Month, and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and First Community Bank and Trust are encouraging consumers and small business owners to Go Local by banking locally with a community bank. Because community banks put local deposits back to work in the community and are financial first responders both in good times and in bad, consumers will be reinvesting in their neighborhood and making it a better place to live and work for generations to come.

"Community banks proudly embody the American spirit of Main Street by lending to local small business owners, helping area families achieve financial stability and enabling their local economy and community to thrive. And this isn't a new phenomenon. Many community banks have been around for over a hundred years, and like mine, many are still family owned and operated," said Jeff Gerhart, ICBA chairman and chairman of Bank of Newman Grove, Neb. "I'm so proud to be a community banker and I'm thrilled to celebrate Community Banking Month by encouraging consumers and small business owners to Go Local so they too can realize the benefits of banking locally, and make a real difference in their community and local economy."

By driving local economies and creating local jobs, community banks—which are small businesses themselves— are an integral part of our nation's financial system. Of the more than 7,000 community banks across the country, nearly 5,000 are ICBA members. Representing more than 23,000 locations nationwide and employing more than 280,000 Americans, ICBA members hold more than $1 trillion in assets, $900 billion in deposits, and $700 billion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community. Located in small towns, suburbia and big-city neighborhoods, community banks improve the nation's communities by lending to local customers and funding nearly 60 percent of all small businesses under $1 million.

"We at First Community Bank and Trust are relationship lenders that only thrive when our customers and communities do the same, so taking care of our customers and looking out for the best interest of our community is the way we do business," said Greg Ohlendorf, President and CEO of First Community Bank and Trust.

ICBA President and CEO, Camden R. Fine, said that he encourages consumers to make Community Banking Month a reason to find their local community bank. He said consumers can do so by visiting ICBA's Community Bank Locator at www.banklocally.org. "Simply type in your zip code and the app will show you all the community banks in your area. You can even download free ICBA locator apps for your iPhone, Android or Blackberry," he said. "We've made it simple so all you need to do is go down the street, meet with a community banker face-to-face and see if making the switch is right for you."

About First Community Bank and Trust
First Community Bank and Trust is a privately owned bank. Established in 1916 First Community Bank and Trust has been serving Beecher, IL, Peotone, IL and the surrounding communities for over 95 years. Our commitment to providing the best banking products and services is matched only by our outstanding customer service. We offer traditional community banking services, including mortgage, consumer, and commercial lending, as well as state of the art electronic banking services.

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Press Contact:
Steven D. Koehn, VP
First Community Bank and Trust
(708) 946-2246