In an era of bank mergers and acquisitions, locally owned community banks have become a distinction among their larger holding-company peers. Providing personalized financial services for more than 81 years, Citizens Bank intends to hold on to that distinction by continuing to grow and meet the changing financial needs of the communities it serves.
Citizens Bank was inaugurated as Carter County’s premier community bank in November 1934, just when the nation was beginning to recover from the tribulations of the Great Depression. Carter County had been without a bank for close to three years, and the new Citizens Bank with its $75,000 solid financial base was good news to the community.
In 1962, when the bank’s total assets were $5 million, Joe LaPorte, Jr. became the fourth president. Under LaPorte’s direction, Citizens Bank became nationally recognized for its exceptional performance. Joe LaPorte, Jr. made a lasting impression in the Tri-Cities area and beyond and in 2006 was posthumously inducted into the Tennessee Bankers Hall of Fame.
Continuing the family legacy, Joe LaPorte, III followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the bank in 1979 and was named the bank’s fifth president in 1985 and in 1987 was named CEO and president. In 1995 Bill Dudney joined Citizens as president and Joe LaPorte, III became chairman and CEO.
Citizens Bank boasts Preferred Lender status with the U.S. Small Business Administration and through its SBA lending division, Small Business Resources, consistently ranks as the number one SBA lender in the Tri-Cities region. Citizens Investment Services* is a wholly owned subsidiary of the bank and affiliate office of Raymond James Financial Services and offers investment services to clients throughout the region.
Citizens Bank has established a reputation as one of the state’s most well-capitalized and stable financial institutions. “Citizens Bank is committed to local, community banking,” says Chairman and CEO Joe LaPorte, III. “Our growth will keep us independent, and our most important asset will always be our customers.”