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About Us

We have been serving Monroe County since 1907. We take pride in helping build a stronger community. As a customer of Peoples Exchange Bank, you are not just a number you are family!

History of the Bank

Founding PEB

Peoples Exchange Bank was founded in Beatrice, Alabama in 1907 when Lechter Melton of Pensacola, Florida interested a number of local people in its organization. Money was borrowed from a Pensacola bank to start the bank and S.D. Andress was put in charge.

Peoples Exchange Bank opened its doors for business September 18, 1907 and recorded a 10-percent profit for the first day’s business. Total deposits were $77, total capital $15,000 and total assets $15,077. No loans were made until the second week of business when bank records show a $183 loan.

The bank has operated continuously since that time except for two days in the mid 1930’s, when President Roosevelt’s “moratorium on banking” resulted in a two-day “Bankers Holiday”. Two years after the banking moratorium, money for the bank was unobtainable since most of it had been impounded to secure the loan. Captain T. M. Riley, the first president of the bank, was asked to buy up the stock. He agreed to do so if W. R. Sawyer who was then working in the State Auditing Department, could be appointed Vice-President/Cashier.

 

During the 1930’s Mr. Sawyer retired because of ill health and Mr. Pinkey S. Jackson was named Vice President. When Captain Riley died in 1935, Mr. Jackson was made President. He served in this capacity until about two years before his death. After retiring as President, he served as Chairman of the Board and Thomas A. Black took the office of President.

Did You Know? An interesting note about Mr. Jackson is that he served as President of Peoples Exchange Bank and Peterman State Bank at the same time.

Buildings & Branches

The bank was originally operated in a wooden building on the west side of Main Street in Beatrice. In 1909 the bank relocated across the street into a brick building. This building was remodeled and updated several times and then in 1969 a new building was built across the street. The bank has now been housed on three side of the same intersection in Beatrice.

A branch office was opened in Monroeville in 1976 and was first operated from a mobile unit. Later in 1977 a bank building was constructed and opened at the present Monroeville location.

Since that time the bank has been enlarged and remodeled several times.

Did you know? The bank has had an exciting history of bank robberies through the years. The first robbery that is recalled was in 1967, when the bank was entered during the night and the safe was burned open.

Over the past 30 years the bank has had several daytime robberies and several daytime and nighttime attempted robberies. During one attempted robbery, Thomas Black was able to hide in the bathroom in his office and call the telephone operator, who connected him to the sheriff’s department. Law enforcement personnel were quick to respond and captured the armed robbers on the premises as they were making their way out of the bank. The last attempt was at night, when the intruders attempted to remove the hinges from the vault door.

Distinguished Leaders

Board of Directors

Through the years many distinguished names have made up the Board of Directors of Peoples Exchange Bank. Early directors included: W. J. Nettles, S. D. Nettles, W. G. Andress, W. A. Stallworth, T. M. Riley, J. M. Stallworth, and L. J. Robbins. In the 1950’s board members included P.S. “Pink” Jackson, Finklea Nettles, Albert Nettles, G.L. Nettles, Richard.A. “Dick” Wible, J. Lindsey Finklea. In more recent years the board has been served by J. Lindsey Finklea, Francis D. Stallworth, G.L. Nettles, J. F. Nettles, A. A. Nettles and Richard A. Wible.

Did you know? It is interesting to note that in 1926 the bank had two women serving on the board. They were Miss Minnie Robbins, a local hotel owner and Mrs. Mattie E. Massey.

Present board members are: Becky B. Snyder, Chairman, Andy Black, Harvey Gaston, Kenneth M. Smith, Bill Scruggs, Tommy Cobb, Daniel Sawyer and Claire B. Stallworth.

Executive Officers

Thomas A. Black, Jr. served as President of Peoples Exchange Bank until his retirement in 1983. Mrs. Anna Laura Brown was then appointed President and provided excellent leadership until her retirement in 1995. William M. Franklin served as President after Mrs. Browns retirement through 2003. Becky B. Snyder was elected Chairman of the Board and President in January 2004.

Current bank officers are: Harvey Gaston, CEO; Kevin Norris, President; Marshall Black, Executive Vice President/Loan Officer, Rachael Boutwell, Executive Vice President and Bill Rogers, Executive Vice President/Loan Officer. Mrs. Becky Snyder still serves as Chairman of the Board.

At the present time Peoples Exchange Bank is the only locally owned bank in Monroe County. This bank is owned by Peoples Exchange Bancshares, Inc.

CEO's Message

When Peoples Exchange Bank started in 1907, the word PEOPLE in our name defined who we are about, You! Our mission is to profitably deliver quality customer services that meet the financial needs of our communities, its businesses, and its citizens, while helping enhance the lives of those communities including employees and shareholders.

I see our bank as the primary bank for people who prefer the personal service of a community bank with the conveniences of larger banks. When customers turn to us, they should have available to them many of the financial products and services that they are accustomed to having. Therefore, our bank has made commitments to leverage our technology so that it will continually evolve and meet the desires of our customers. Thus, you can have both the benefit of dealing with real people in a community bank along with the availability of advanced technology delivery systems.

Obviously, we have faced along with our customers the economic challenges caused by the pandemic, but the financial strength of Peoples Exchange Bank remains the highest it has ever been, and we still remain among the strongest capitalized banks in the state of Alabama. Events of such great magnitude, like the ones we all have experienced over the last two years, regardless of our personal feelings or political standing, can have a positive long-term impact on our organization and lives depending on our reactions. So, we are continuing to look towards the future, and I have placed even more urgency on my efforts related to critical questioning of and departure from the status quo. We must use these recent years as a window of opportunity by appreciating that our current practices and beliefs may not, in fact, be optimal and that change may be needed. We can boast that our bank has met those challenges and progressed throughout the years working towards our expectations for providing a bank that you deserve in the kinds of products and the quality of service. We will continue to be sensitive to the needs of our longtime base of customers in trying to maintain services that they have enjoyed over the years, while at the same time creating new ideas that will appeal to the younger generation of future customers.

We also have a dedicated group of people with a wide range of experience that I feel no other financial institution can match. Without their dedication, resourcefulness and creativity, our task would be harder to accomplish. Our people also contribute to the quality of our communities by serving on boards, coaching youth sports, teaching Sunday school and various other areas of opportunity, which speaks highly of the quality of the individuals who serve our customers and shareholders.

In closing, Peoples Exchange will remain committed to be a community bank in the truest of definition, while diligently striving to improve your experience as a customer. On behalf of everyone at our bank, we thank you for your business or we look forward to serving you as a new customer.

Harvey J Gaston, Jr
Chief Executive Officer

 

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