It's hard to find a family-oriented neighborhood bank that greets you by name and hasn't turned its employees into an army of salespeople.
Liberty Bank is such a bank. Started 119 years ago in the basement of a church, the bank serves all the people of Chicago. Church members started the bank to help each other become homeowners. Every month they would put money into a savings account and one person would be given a loan to buy a home. That's the same vision that guides Liberty today. They offer mortgages, savings and checking accounts. No derivatives or fancy investments, Liberty invests in its neighbors and in the community.
Unlike most banks, Liberty has no stockholders to dictate how the bank operates, it answers only to its customers and gives clients unbiased assistance. Unlike most banks, no one receives a commission for selling an account. The focus is on serving clients, not growing the bottom line. This customer-centered approach means Liberty can offer better rates and lower fees than most other institutions.
Liberty's branches are in the northwest side of Chicago but with a full array of online banking services, a telephone customer service line and access to over 75,000 surcharge-free ATMs, conducting business is never a problem. Liberty has relationships with realtors throughout the Chicago area such as Prestige Properties in Lansing, Illinois.
The bank's primary focus is neighbors, not businesses. Where others may require a balance of $500 to open a savings account, Liberty just requires $25 to open their Pay Yourself First Savings Account. Few banks today have coin-counting machines in their lobbies. Liberty proudly provides coin-counting under $500 free to all customers. And, of course, Liberty never charges customers to talk to a teller or banker.
Liberty Bank combines personal touch with the latest digital technology. The mortgage application process can be handled online or in person, however all clients are assigned a personal loan consultant to walk them through every step of the process.
"Whether you call on the phone, apply in person or online, we'll make sure you receive personal attention, said Liberty Lending VP Jerry Kussy, "we're very proud of our outstanding reviews on Yelp."
The $830 million-bank continues applying the personal touch throughout the life of the loan. As a portfolio lender, it services a majority of its own loans in-house. That means when calling with a question, a Liberty employee answers the phone – you are not switched to a call-center overseas.
Bank rating company Bauer Financial has named Liberty one of strongest banks in the country and with good reason. The Logan Square-based institution has weathered two world wars, a depression and the recent recession on solid footing and is looking forward to serving future generations.
One way to judge Liberty's commitment to the community is to look how it gives back. Liberty's employees serve as volunteers and board members in the communities where they work, and Liberty Bank offers a variety of financial educational resources, community events, and community support.
Liberty Bank for Savings, Member FDIC, is an Equal Housing Lender, NMLS 787575.
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