If the old Bailey Building and Loan from the film "It's a Wonderful Life" were ever updated for the Internet era, it might look a lot like Wilber National Bank. The Oneonta, N.Y., institution is one of the growing cadre of community banks staking out positions on the Internet and anywhere else it believes customers might want or need access.

But while pursuing virtual aspirations, the bank still basks in local affection from a prominent position on Main Street. Its Christmas party in a nearby farming museum is an annual ritual for many in the town of 16,000.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.