If you’re over 40 years old and didn’t grow up in the big city, you knew Bob.
Bob was a local banker. He lived in the same town where his bank was. He was a loan officer, probably a Vice President, and worked for the bank for years. Bob married his high school sweetheart, raised four or five kids in the town you lived in, belonged to the local optimist club, and attended a local church every Sunday. Bob showed up at most of the civic events in town. You saw him at many of the weddings, christenings, and funerals in town too. Bob knew everybody who was anybody in your town. He also knew a lot of nobody’s as well, but that didn’t matter to him – anybody or nobody, you were from his town and he was the banker.
Bob viewed himself as the guardian of the bank’s money, and the reputation of the bank in the local community was very important to him. When people needed money, they would come to Bob to apply for a loan. There was paperwork to fill out, but it usually wasn’t very extensive. Bob looked at the paperwork to be sure, but Bob knew you, he knew your parents, he knew where you worked, and he knew how much money you made. Most importantly, Bob had a pretty good idea what sound financial practices were and he cared about your financial well-being because it was tied to his bank’s reputation.