According to the American Bankers Association, Independence Bank ranked 9th in the nation with assets between $1 billion and $10 billion among 483 mid-sized banks. These rankings are based on consolidated statistics reflecting the return on average equity available for each institution. This is the third consecutive year that Independence has ranked in the top 10. In previous years, the bank was analyzed with roughly 2,800 other community banks with assets less than one billion.
While many financial institutions were facing economic challenges in 2011, Independence Bank continued to remain financially responsible and fair in all aspects of banking, and that consistency paid off. Independence Bank chose to continue to do what was right by its customers, friends and communities by choosing not to participate in risky business decisions, being there for its customers and having the right people in place to ensure that this happens. Independence Bank believes that people choose to do business with us because of our service, soundness and commitment to our communities. By putting our customers first and providing products and services that our customers want, Independence Bank grew over two and a half times as fast as other banks. In 2011, assets grew 14.5% compared to 4.4% on average for other banks. The same goes for deposits which grew 26.3% in 2011 compared to 5% on average for other banks. Chief Deposit Officer, Scott Audas said, “The connections we have with our customers are another reason for our success on the deposit side. When you match that with employees that are highly skilled in providing excellent service amongst a culture of giving back to and caring for our communities – it equals a powerful formula for success.”
Independence Bank believes that as a community bank we should focus on the borrowing needs of our communities. This philosophy is best exemplified by the fact that Independence has a greater percentage of its assets in loans than other banks. Chief Lending Officer, Greg Mullican believes that the Bank’s strong loan portfolio is a major key to the financial success it has experienced in recent years. Mullican says, “Even as the economic environment continues to be slow to improve, Independence Bank has been able to continue to maintain outstanding asset quality. This strength, particularly in our loan portfolio, has been a major factor in Independence Bank’s financial success. At a time when many banks are having higher than normal credit losses and loan collection related expenses, Independence Bank has been able to avoid those pitfalls and steer clear of those income draining costs.”
Despite dramatic declines in equity markets, Senior Vice President and Trust Manager, Alan Hamilton, said that “Our Trust and Brokerage assets are up 6.7 % from last year.” The Bank’s Trust Department is still one of the largest Trust Departments in Western Kentucky and currently manages over $350 million in trust and brokerage assets.
Independence Bank customers have come to expect a “fair” price for the Bank’s services. For example, the fees charged on deposits, loans, trust and other services average less than other banks even as the products and services continue to improve the price has remained fair to the customer. Chief Financial Officer, Gary White said “In an effort to provide the best services at the lowest prices, Independence Bank has eliminated waste over the past two years. As a result, the Bank’s cost for salaries and benefits, buildings and other related expenses are approximately 17% lower than other banks.”
Another driving force behind the company’s success is its people. “The Bank is able to hire quality employees that work efficiently and effectively to deliver a one-of-a-kind customer experience,” according to Vice President and Human Resource Manager, Tawna Wright. The Bank is also proud of being named as one of the Best Places to Work in Kentucky for the past six years in a row.
Chief Executive Officer, Chris Reid said, “Delivering extraordinary customer service, conducting business fairly, and remaining dedicated to our communities, have been the standards set forth by the Bank for many years, which has positioned us well in this environment. This path of fairness has proved to be an incredible road to success for growth, performance and reputation, and it is an honor to be listed among top performers.” President, Brad Howard added, “We are very fortunate to have been recognized again as one of the top performing banks in the nation. Our mission statement, ‘Everyday Excellence’ describes our desire to meet the needs of our customers and communities each and every day, which has gotten us where we are today.”
Independence Bank is a regional community bank with 18 locations in 8 counties in Western Kentucky - Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, Hopkins, McCracken, McLean, Warren and Webster - and assets of over $1.1 billion.
The rankings were compiled using an analysis of performance of FDIC insured deposit institutions with assets between $1 billion and $10 billion as of December 31, 2011 and then divided into subgroups of public and privately owned institutions. Banks were ranked based on return on average equity (ROAE). For complete ranking details, please visit www.ababj.com or http://tinyurl.com/topbanks-2012