The history of Sevier County Bank is a story of helping businesses, building communities, and inspiring customer loyalty. This was the vision that brought together 52 investors in the early 1900s to risk $30,000.00 of their own capital to start their own bank.
When Sevier County Bank was founded on March 9, 1909, the stage was set. SCB would be a bank for the people and businesses of the region, not one restricted to a single community or market.
One year after opening its doors, SCB quickly established its presence in Sevierville, constructing a three-story, headquarters facility on Main Street at a cost of $7,544.35—matched only in size by the county courthouse.
Through the years, Sevier County Bank has been true to its name, expanding its presence and serving individuals and businesses throughout Sevier County. Most recently, SCB entered Gatlinburg in 2009.
In 2012, the board of directors became directly involved with executive management in the development and implementation of a comprehensive plan to serve as a guide to the company’s immediate and long-term future. Countless hours assessing community needs, learning from past lessons and reevaluating personnel, as well as researching current and expected trends in the financial industry, created the basis for a new company vision.
Timing is everything
SCB made its debut eight years after the town of Sevierville incorporated in 1901. In 1910, the Smoky Mountain Railroad opened and offered passenger service between Knoxville and Sevierville. In 1934 the Great Smoky Mountains National Park opened, bringing about an unexpected, but welcomed new industry to its economy—tourism. While our founders may or may not have known of plans for the national park, they were almost certainly aware of the importance a new passenger line would have on Sevier County.
As Sevier County relied more heavily on tourism in the decades to follow, SCB found opportunities for growth. And as larger, out-of-town banks entered the region, SCB distinguished itself as a strong community leader whose customer service resonated with the values and beliefs of the individuals and small businesses they served. In time, Sevier County would attract hundreds of thousands and ultimately millions of tourists as Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville became heavily involved in providing outside visitors greater experiences and more reason to choose the area as the place to plan their getaways. In the end, the events of the past and a new economy would help SCB survive the turmoil of two world wars, the Great Depression, and the financial crisis and recession of the early 21st century.
As tourism grew, so did jobs. Since 1910, Sevier County's population has grown 308 percent to a citizenship of 89,889 from 22,296, according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau. The migration of jobs and people into Sevier County has been dramatic. The U.S. Census reports Sevier County's population grew by 46.7 percent during the 1970s and another 39.4 percent during the 1990s, creating considerable opportunities for a community bank that would become one of the leading financial institutions in Sevier County.
"Customer Success" Initiative
At the heart of our success has been our flexibility to adapt to change while maintaining an unwavering focus on what is most meaningful to us—our customer. We recently introduced our “Customer Experience” initiative, which we believe will take customer service to unprecedented levels within our organization and our community. Realizing that customers want a compelling experience with their financial institution, rather than just a series of transactions, SCB is committed that customers will have an active voice in future business practices and processes. In a time when many businesses and financial institutions have succumbed to the pressure of seeking immediate results and responded by offering “boxed solutions,” SCB remains committed to listening, learning and taking the time necessary to build meaningful relationships that allow us to craft personalized solutions to our customers’ needs. By engaging our customers and soliciting continuous and honest feedback about their changing needs and preferences, SCB will continue to focus on the customer experience through every banking channel and at every contact point, creating a riveting experience for each of our valued relationships.