Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future

  • Bank Independent’s roots run deep in the Northwest Alabama area, and like the seventeen communities we serve, our heritage is rich and steeped in tradition.  Our story began in 1947 in Leighton, Alabama, when the area’s only bank unexpectedly closed, leaving the hardworking residents of eastern Colbert County without banking services for the first time since 1903. 

    A group of Leighton farmers recognized the needs of their community and pooled their resources to open The Bank of Leighton on August 4, 1947.  The Colbert County Reporter newspaper reported that “the appreciation of the townspeople was thoroughly demonstrated by the nice deposits made on the first day.”

    This new, aggressive organization was renamed First Colbert Bank in 1965.  Our bank soon advanced from a state-chartered bank to a national bank in 1967 to become First Colbert National Bank after moving our headquarters from Leighton to Sheffield, Alabama.

    In 1975, Board Chairman Edward F. Mauldin organized a group of investors, including some directors of First Colbert National Bank, to charter The Bank of Florence in Lauderdale County, Alabama, while First Colbert continued to expand its offices in Colbert County.  The two banks merged on December 1, 1982 to become Bank Independent.  According to a February 1983 article in the Times Daily newspaper, the formation of Bank Independent “began a new era in banking for the citizens of Colbert and Lauderdale counties.”

    Bank Independent continued to build its branch network by opening new offices in Colbert and Lauderdale counties.  In 2002, the bank expanded into Morgan County by opening a loan production office in Decatur, Alabama; two years later, a similar office was opened in Athens in Limestone County, Alabama, broadening Bank Independent’s footprint to four counties in the Northwest corner of the state.

    In November 2005, the bank purchased 17 offices of Colonial Bank in locations throughout North Alabama, resulting in 25 offices of Bank Independent operating in 15 communities and six counties.  This acquisition expanded the bank’s presence into Lawrence and Franklin counties.

    Bank Independent continued to grow with the acquisition of The Citizens Bank of Moulton in December 2008. This resulted in three additional offices in Lawrence County.

    In August 2009, the Bank welcomed Interstate Billing Service, Inc. (IBS) to the Bank Independent family.  IBS, a corporate billing service based in Decatur, Alabama, offered the bank a new dimension of growth opportunities, as well as 87 employees. 

    As of January 2013, Bank Independent employed over 500 folks who are deeply involved in the areas served by the bank.  As we commemorated our 65th year of continuous commitment to those communities in August 2012, our employees, leadership and shareholders celebrated the firm foundation established by the bank’s founding fathers in 1947.  Bank Independent will always remain rooted in tradition even as we focus on a future of growth and prosperity.