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American Banker latest to recognize Bank Independent

SHEFFIELD – Bank Independent is expanding, not only with the groundbreaking of a four-story operations center and added locations around the Tennessee Valley, but its well-established reputation earned over 76 years is attracting national attention.

And recognition keeps rolling in.

Trade publication American Banker partnered with Best Companies Group to name the 2023 Best Banks to Work For. Bank Independent made the list for the fifth straight year, landing at No. 34 this year among the 90 banks ranked around the country.

The rankings are based on an anonymous employee survey and a thorough review of the benefits and perks offered. In September, Newsweek ranked the bank No. 33 on its 2023 100 Most Loved Workplaces list.

“Our team members are our most valuable asset,” Bank Independent CEO Rick Wardlaw said in announcing the news. “We strive to create a supportive and collaborative workplace where our team can thrive. Being recognized as one of American Banker‘s Best Banks to Work For in 2023 affirms our commitment to team members. Our goal is for every team member to feel appreciated and engaged. We want this to be a place our people look forward to coming to each day.

“This award shows we are on the right track in making Bank Independent a great place to work, which ultimately benefits our customers and community.”

The survey and awards program is designed to identify and honor banks with the best cultures for helping employees thrive. The No. 1 bank on the list is also from Alabama – Oakworth Capital Bank of Birmingham. Two other banks from the state made the list. First Metro Bank of Muscle Shoals is 62nd and United Bank of Atmore 72nd. The full list can be found at www.bankamerica.com.

“The banks recognized on this list are trying hard to create workplaces that employees want to join,” said Chana R. Schoenberger, editor-in-chief of American Banker. “Especially during this moment when companies are experiencing a shift in how, where, and how much employees work, banks are paying attention to how they can best retain their people.”

In explaining why Bank Independent is on the list, American Banker wrote, “Employees at this community bank get a pension plan in addition to a 401(k) with an employer match and a premium healthcare plan that is free to members, highly subsidized for family coverage and features extremely low deductibles.”

Bank Independent stresses that its employees are a priority, and the love apparently flows back-and-forth from workers to the highest level.

“It’s just a great time to be a bank, a community bank,” Macke Mauldin, Bank Independent’s president and fifth generation of the family-run company, said of the booming business the region is experiencing.

Determining the Best Banks to Work For involved a two-step process. The first consisted of evaluating each participating bank’s workplace policies, practices, and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25% of the total evaluation.

The second consisted of employee surveys aimed at assessing the experiences and attitudes of individual employees with respect to their workplace. This part of the process was worth approximately 75% of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the final ranking.

To be considered for participation, banks had to have at least 50 employees working in the U.S. and been in business for a minimum of one year. Best Companies Group managed the registration and survey process and also analyzed the data to determine the final ranking. 

 For more information on the Best Banks to Work For program, visit www.BestBankstoWorkfor.com.

Bank Independent, launched in Leighton by farmers, is now headquartered in Sheffield with offices in Athens, Decatur, Huntsville, Madison, Hartselle, East Lawrence, Rogersville, Cortland, Moulton, Lexington, Killen, Florence, Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia, Russellville, Cherokee, and Red Bay.


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