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Bank Independent continues branching out in Madison County

MADISON – With its “special brand of banking,” Bank Independent celebrated its sixth location in Madison County with a ribbon-cutting Thursday. The Sheffield-based bank founded now serves 18 communities in North Alabama with the opening of its County Line Road branch in Madison.

“Bank Independent is built to serve, not sell,” said CEO Rick Wardlaw. “Many area banks have a strategy to build to sell, but we’re not going anywhere. When you bank with us, you can bank with us for generations.”

Wardlaw said his team works hard to provide what he calls “high touch, high tech” service. 

“A lot of organizations outsource their customer service,” he said. “We have a calling center that staffs 40 to 45 people and when anybody calls in, we answer the phone, it doesn’t go to a voicemail. Then we direct them as to whatever their needs are.

“We provide a special brand of banking that we know we have done for 77 years.” 

Bank Independent Area President Tim Singleton said the bank began operations in Madison County in 2014.  

“It was just me and my laptop working out of an office,” said Singleton. “We’ve gone from zero locations to six locations in 10 years, with more to come.”

Singleton said Bank Independent is proud to have been a part of the area’s growth.

“I looked back over years and you can see the projects that Bank Independent has been involved in,” he said. “Everything from Campus 805, Stovehouse, Mid City, Trader Joe’s, Starbucks. We are proud to be part of this community.

“This branch right here is the best opening branch ever in the history of our bank and that goes back 77 years.”

At Thursday’s opening, President Macke Mauldin referenced the 1947 founding of the bank by his grandfather and “other farmers” in Leighton to serve their community.

“Since that day, our purpose, our mission has always been to make a positive difference in the lives of the people we serve,” he said. “So every community we go into, we have a very strategic point of being positive, making positive differences from the community area.

“So you can rest assured that we will make that difference in Madison and Madison County as a whole as we move forward. We are proud to be in Madison.”

The community bank based in North Alabama was recently named to the Newsweek magazine Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces list. This is the second year for Bank Independent to be honored on the annual list. 

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