Our Story & History
If you call West Alabama home, our history is yours too. We’re the hometown bank for West Alabama, and for over 75 years we’ve been helping people, businesses, and our communities grow better and stronger with each day.
On July 29, 1944, we opened our doors for the very first time as the Bank of Reform in Pickens County. Our leaders, including first bank president, John L. Wade, were visionary and emphasized personal service, friendliness, commitment to customers and community involvement.
Conditions in 1940s-era Pickens County were dramatically different from today. Other than a couple of sawmills, there was absolutely no manufacturing until a cap factory opened in 1948 and Westinghouse in 1953. Population growth, economic growth and inflation enabled our tiny Bank of Reform and banks almost everywhere to grow and prosper.
Under John Wade’s leadership, we experienced strong, steady growth and thrived. In 1975, Wade’s son Andrew C. Wade, Sr. succeeded him as President & Chief Executive Officer, with John Wade remaining as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
A steady stream of expansions and acquisitions followed, as well as a name change to West Alabama Bank & Trust. In 1993, we expanded beyond the boundaries of Pickens County.
By 2008, West Alabama Bank had 16 locations in Pickens, Perry, Choctaw, Fayette, Lamar, Tuscaloosa, Sumter and Bibb counties. In late 2019, we expanded once again by opening a new location in Birmingham. Today, our assets total $781 million and we proudly employ 175 members of our West Alabama communities.
We owe a good portion of our success to our desire to try new things and innovate.
Throughout our history, West Alabama Bank & Trust consistently demonstrated values of quality, integrity, and honesty under such notable leaders as Aliceville’s J.E. “Bud” Sanders and James V. Park.
Those same values continued under the leadership of William R. “Rob” Finney as President & CEO for over 25 years.
In 2021, Andrew C. "Drew" Wade, Jr. was named President, making him the fourth person to serve in this capacity in the Bank's 78 year history. Wade succeeds a long line of strong talented bankers and he will lead the Bank with the same sense of integrity the West Alabama community has come to know and trust.
Today, we’re just as dedicated to our customers and communities as we were when we first opened our doors. We look forward to a bright future and continued success as the bank that serves West Alabama.