Community Partner Spotlight: First Federal Savings Bank
In America, mutual banks were established nearly two centuries ago. These early mutual institutions were patterned after similar entities in England and Scotland and dedicated to encouraging thrift for middle-income consumers. Although First Federal has changed a great deal since its founding as a mutual bank in 1935, what remains unchanged is the belief that their mutual structure best serves the banking and credit needs of our community.
As a mutual bank, First Federal is not publicly traded and has no shareholders. This means they serve just one constituency: their clients. Most importantly, as a financial cooperative with their clients, they manage their business to protect the long-term financial security of the bank, rather than the immediate returns prized by Wall Street. While publicly-owned banks are under pressure to return profits to their investors, First Federal retains their earnings to create an added margin of safety, and as a result, they have the highest capital ratio of any bank in Wyoming.
Another principle of mutuality is that the bank serves generations of clients – past, current and future. The Board and Management largely view themselves as stewards of a community resource and strive to manage and improve the bank in preparation for a transfer to future generations.
Two words dominate their vision – service and independence. What makes them different from other banks is the dedication to service, commitment and longevity. It is more efficient for a mutual bank to focus on the needs of a local region where the short-term return for the bank stock is not a driving force. A mutual can assess the needs and participate over a longer time horizon without market pressures. The independence afforded a mutual bank is critical to preserving our community and its needs.
First Federal competes daily with all forms of financial institutions. As a mutual, they receive no special treatment in the marketplace or from bank regulators or taxing authorities. They either succeed or not on the same rules, the same competitive playing field, as other banks.
By choice, First Federal is a mutual bank. Just like you, they want to do the right things for the right reasons.
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Posted in the following categories: Member Recognitions