On October 16, 1896, A. J. McLaurin, Governor of the State of Mississippi signed and approved the charter giving Bank of New Albany the full rights and authority to operate a commercial banking operation in the City of New Albany, making it the first commercial bank in Union County.  The bank authorized and issued 100 shares of common stock at $100 per share, for an initial capitalization of $10,000. 

Since then, Bank of New Albany has grown and become one of the soundest, safest bank of its size in the nation. Dec. 11, 1924 marked the purchase of the Merchant and Farmers Bank here locally and it was merged with Bank of New Albany at the Main Office here on Bankhead Street and has remained as the main office to this day. 

In the year 1929, the stock market crashed and Bank of New Albany, being locally owned, helped it to survive the next four years as depositors also had a vested interest in the bank because many of them were not only customers but also stockholders. BNA Bank serves over 70 percent of the population of New Albany and Union County. 

Many changes have occurred in banking since that time and your hometown bank has kept up with all the community needs from checking and savings to home, vehicle, and commercial loans. 

Speaking with some of the officers, Bo Collins and Mike Staten, they alluded to the fact that over the years they had been involved in all aspects of the bank and its business. They even told me of times in early years when everyone did everything, including janitorial duties. 

Both men have been employed by BNA Bank for over 40 years. In fact, most employees come to work and stay there until they are ready to retire. It gives you a good feeling when you go in and there are smiling faces to greet you, usually by name. You can always go in any of the banks and have a sit down with their officers and when you call the bank a friendly voice greets you on the phone instead of a recording.

Both Collins and Staten told that being a hometown bank is not just about monetary transactions. 

BNA Bank has been instrumental in the development of New Albany and Union County in many ways over the past 122 years. The bank and its employees have been involved in the community since the bank’s inception. They have sponsored many charitable events around the community with the Tallahatchie RiverRun and BNA Bank Park being the most advertised. 

The bank sponsors many sports teams as they make it a point to sponsor any team that has an employee’s child playing as well as the bank team itself. College scholarships are awarded each year to seniors both city and county. 

The bank and some of its officers were also heavily involved in the revamping of the Cine’ to give those students and adults who were not sports-minded a place to hone their skills in acting, music, and dance. 

Have you wondered how the name change came about and why? Well when Bank of New Albany decided to move into the adjacent counties with branch banks and loan centers they needed a name that would allow them to do that and still retain that hometown bank appeal. They had a contest and over 50 entries were submitted with them finally choosing BNA Bank. 

They said it was because over the years folks would come in and write a check for a payment or cash and instead of writing out Bank of New Albany, they would simply write BNA. This was made official in March 2007 and BNA Bank still retains that hometown reputation. 

Go in and visit one of their locations with offices on Bankhead Street, Highway 15, Highway 30, Myrtle, Old Taylor Road in Oxford, Barnes Crossing Mall in Tupelo and the Belden Branch on McCollough. You can also visit their website www.bnabank.com or give them a call at 662-534-8171.

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