First Security, Inc. is a Kentucky corporation which serves as the holding company for First Security Bank of Owensboro, Inc., a Kentucky banking corporation. First Security Bank opened for business on August 22, 1997.
Consistent with the approach today, the original founders envisioned a community bank that provided the very best in customer service while offering essentially the same products and services more commonly found in much larger financial institutions.
At the time there were 22 employees. The board of directors consisted of Jerry R. Bowen, Sally B. Bryant, Patrick M. Corkran, S. Lewis Guthrie, Frederick "Fritz" Kramer, Charles D. Ralph, Howard R. Sanders, Ed Tabor, as well as Steven M. Ford, Paul J. Martin, John A. Medley, Jr., James "Tab" Quisenberry, R. Mitch Settle, and Dale Stewart, of which the last 6 remain today. From 1997 to present the following directors were added; Lee A. Mitchell (1999), Steve Clark (2001), W. Joe Foster (2001), Dennis Newberry (2001), Harry Roberts, Sr.(2001), M. Lynn Cooper (2007), and John R. Edge (2007).
Howard R. Sanders was the original CEO of the bank. A second location in Owensboro was added in 1998. Leadership of the holding company for the bank was formally organized with most of the current holding company board of directors becoming board members in 2001. John Edge became President in 2001.
In early 2007, M. Lynn Cooper, President and CEO of the bank and holding company, was hired to provide leadership for the bank's new expansion strategy. Consequently, over the last few years, a team of top bankers have been recruited to help execute the growth strategy.
In the fall of 2007, the bank announced an acquisition of the Warrick Loan and Savings Association, a small bank in Southwestern Indiana. Subsequently in June of 2008 the bank opened a new full service office in Evansville, Indiana. The Evansville location grew to approximately $37 million in deposits and loans in its first year and was profitable in less than 12 months after opening. Today, that Evansville office has deposits exceeding $100 million.
In early 2010 the bank agreed to purchase five branches in the Bowling Green and Franklin, Kentucky markets from Integra Bank. This transaction was closed in late July of that year and added around $115 million in deposits and loans to the bank's balance sheet.
In March of 2012, the bank opened its 9th banking office in Lexington, KY. In July of that same year, the bank opened a new corporate headquarters in downtown Owensboro. In September the bank opened its 10th office in Newburgh, Indiana and in December, it opened its 11th office in downtown Evansville after having purchased approximately 70,000 square feet of space at the former Integra main office bank building.
Management believes that a locally managed bank can respond to customers more quickly and with a better understanding of local needs than a bank whose decision makers are located out-of-area. The bank differentiates itself from larger competitors with its focus on relationship banking, personalized service, direct customer contact, and the ability to make credit and other business decisions locally. The company also depends on its reputation as a community bank in the banking markets served by its involvement in the community, the experience of the management team and the quality of its employees.
It is management's intent to continue to grow in existing banking markets and to expand into new markets when appropriate opportunities arise. The Company currently has approximately $430 million in assets and 11 office locations with 150 employees.
The bank currently serves customers in Owensboro, Lexington, Bowling Green and Franklin, KY as well as Evansville and Newburgh, IN. The cities of Owensboro and Bowling Green are essentially tied in population for the third largest in Kentucky, Lexington is the second largest city, and Evansville is the third largest city in Indiana.