America’s Smallest Bank Has Just Two Employees, No Transaction Fees

With just $3 million in assets, two employees, no ATM, no website, and no transaction fees, Kentland Federal Savings and Loan is the smallest bank in America, and it’s been around for over 100 years.

You’ve most likely heard of America’s banking giants – JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and the Bank of America – but what about the smallest fish in the pond, so to speak? Well, at the opposite end, we have Kentland Federal Savings and Loan, officially the smallest bank in the United States of America. Founded back in 1920, by the great-grandfather of its current CEO, this tiny financial institution has only ever had one branch in Kentland, Indiana, and has only offered three services – obtaining a home mortgage, opening a savings account, and opening a certificate of deposit.

“We were the only institution that didn’t close during the stock exchange debacle in the late 1920s,” CEO James A. Sammons told Bloomberg. “People felt secure that their money wasn’t going anywhere.”

But the banking climate in America has changed in the last century, so Kentland Federal Savings and Loan is like looking back in time. Both CEO Sammons and his part-time teller are technology-averse and prefer using mechanical devices like a traditional coding machine to write checks. It is one of the reasons that Sammons believes that his way of doing business might end with him.

“When I am finished—whether it’s regulators pressuring us to be absorbed or me walking away—we will have to be acquired,” the 55-year-old CEO said.

Another reason for the impending demise of the Kentland Federal Savings and Loan is the small profit margins practiced by America’s smallest bank. It has managed to beat the local competition with slightly better rates on savings accounts and mortgages, but this is the only source of income, because the bank doe not not have ATM fees, no wire fees and no transaction fees of any kind.

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