Stephen Dethrage, March 13, 2023, Townsquare Media, Tuscaloosa Thread
A new bank is gearing up to open one of its first-ever branches in Tuscaloosa next month, with an eye toward expanding throughout the state and region.
The dream began at The Peoples Bank of Red Level in Covington County, Alabama, which President and CEO Scott Christoff recently rebranded as Local Bank.
Christoff and his team aspire to turn the grow the bank, which is more than 100 years old and one of the smallest in the state, into something much more significant.
“Our new name reflects our history and continued focus on our local communities,” Christoff said in an announcement about the new branding. “As the bank begins this new chapter, we renew our commitment to keeping customers first – a philosophy that began with the founders of The Peoples Bank of Red Level in 1914.
The new bank’s marketing officer, Sophia Henger, told the Thread last week that true community banks have been dwindling in number across the country as they merge or are acquired by larger institutions.
“We believe one size does not fit all,” Henger said. “Banks are losing that personal touch and that’s really what we want to focus on starting by hiring market presidents who are really well-known in their communities.”
Local Bank already has a small loan origination office in the Galleria shopping center in north Tuscaloosa, but they will celebrate the grand opening of their first-ever bank branch outside of Red Level here on April 20th.
The bank is coming to 205 McFarland Circle, in the old Winter McFarland law firm across the street from the Indian Hills Animal Clinic.
Henger said Local Bank will be a perfect fit for individuals and small to medium-sized businesses and make use of fresh banking technology while remaining accessible to depositors of every generation.
“At Local Bank, customers will be more than just a number in a book,” Henger said.
From Tuscaloosa and Red Level, Henger said the bank will try to expand throughout Alabama to perhaps Huntsville or Montgomery and, eventually, even further throughout the Southeast.