First Western Team

Who made ICBA’s 2021 list of Top Lenders?

The dust from 2020 is finally beginning to settle, and that gives us an opportunity to look back at the hard work community banks put in to serve their customers. Our top lenders made the most of one of the toughest years in recent memory through personal connection, ingenuity and dedication to their communities.

Best-performing banks

ICBA’s best-performing community banks of 2020

Independent Banker’s annual listing of America’s best-performing community banks shows that nimble thinking and an adherence to good old-fashioned customer service can bring success, whatever the circumstances.

Ross Mynatt, president and CEO of Craft Bank

The de novo bringing craft banking to Atlanta

Craft Bank, Atlanta’s first de novo bank in more than a decade, was about to open—and then the pandemic arrived. Now open, it promises to give potential customers the ability to craft their banking experience.

Cape Ann Savings Bank lobby

Passing banking to the next generation

For three decades, Cape Ann Savings Bank has operated a unique program where a branch operates within a local high school. It’s been a vehicle for multiple generations of students to learn banking basics and connect with the community bank.

Derek Fraley of Systematic Savings Bank

How Systematic Savings Bank turned around

When Derek Fraley joined Systematic Savings Bank as president and CEO in 2017, it was in trouble. To save it, he changed the community bank’s charter, launched an IPO and executed sweeping culture changes. The result: the bank has had four back-to-back positive quarters for the first time in more than a decade.

Uwharrie Bank Staff

Uwharrie Bank and the power of connection

Realizing that many residents of the greater Charlotte, N.C., area face barriers to housing and financial prosperity, Uwharrie Bank is connecting with local organizations in a mission to uplift others.

Malvern Bank’s no-nonsense approach

John Wenstrand, a customer of Malvern Bank for more than 16 years, credits the community bank with a back-to-basics approach that helped him launch his business and get him through the pandemic’s uncertainty.