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West Shore Bank Local, Personal

Reviewing: West Shore Bank Savings And Checking  |  Rating:
Joan Young By Joan Young on
Badge: Editor | Level: 34 | Finances Expertise:

For anyone who is located in west-central lower Michigan, West Shore Bank is great.

When so many small banks were swallowed up by the big financial institutions, West Shore hung in there and has remained locally owned. The main office is located in Ludington, with branches in Scottville, Hart, Manistee, Fountain, and Walkerville. These are in Mason, Manistee, and Oceana Counties.

I’ve had accounts at this bank for almost all of the 39 years we’ve lived in this area. We financed several cars and a house with them. I now have my personal and business accounts at West Shore Bank.

They offer the standard services, free ATMs for customers, drive-up and lobby banking, on-line banking, telephone banking. It would be silly to include rates and things in a review because they can change any time. But they offer CDs, various types of savings and checking accounts, investments, loans, mortgages, etc. Through their web site, customers can use the on-line Bill Pay service for free, free Turbo Tax, and an on-line Investment Broker. I’m certain to make mistakes if I try to list all their services since I don’t use very many of them.

Where they shine is in fulfilling their Mission, which is “Building life-long relationships through superior customer service.” I’m also going to quote from their “About Us” page, “In today’s era of mergers and acquisitions, we’re a rarity — an independent, locally owned and managed, community bank. For over 100 years, we have been a major supporter of the west shore community and its businesses.”

Other family members have had accounts at other area banks, all branches of the large, national banks. Those experiences have almost all been not so great. When problems arise, chain banks can not make any decisions that differ from corporate policy. They sometimes can’t even get answers for you even if you go in to speak with someone in person.

On the other hand, the customer service people at West Shore Bank have really gone out of their way to be fair and helpful to me. More than once they’ve called me to give me a heads up on some piece of paperwork that I forgot or to help me enroll in a plan that cut my fees down to nothing as long as I meet a few monthly criteria. Not many banks are likely to offer to walk you through that. They might offer some deal, but it’s usually up to you to figure out how to make it work.

I highly recommend West Shore Bank.