American Nation Bank makes Forbes list of America's best banks in each state

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite
American Nation Bank was named one of the best banks in Oklahoma by Forbes in their fourth annual best banks in each state report.

American Nation Bank was recently named by Forbes as one of the best banks within Oklahoma in the magazine's fourth annual list of the best banks within each state. The magazine partnered with market research firm Statista to survey 25,000 customers across the country on their opinions about their current and previous banking relationships. The banks were scored based on overall recommendations and satisfaction as well as five subdimensions of trust, terms and conditions, bank services, digital services and financial advice.

Of the 4,978 FDIC-insured banks in the country, only 135 banks or 2.7% made the list which excludes national financial institutions with branches in at least 15 states. Only five of these were in Oklahoma, and American Nation shares this distinction with City National Bank and Trust of Lawton, Bank of Oklahoma, IBC Bank, and Armstrong Bank of Muskogee. Out of all of these banks, American Nation is the youngest, founded in 1983, and has the least employees with approximately 105.

ANB President Jess Cross said he did not know anything about making the list until after the article was published. 

"Someone at church came up to me to congratulate me about getting into Forbes Magazine," Cross said. "I didn't know anything about it, so on Monday I came in and we looked it up, and sure enough there we were."

Cross said he's honored ANB was included, but the true stars are the bank's employees.

"If you read the criteria, this is really an 'attaboy to our employees," Cross said. "It shows that we're friendly and accommodating to our customers, and they appreciate our services and financial advice."

He believes another thing that distinguishes ANB from other banks is their commitment to being a truly community bank.

"The trend right now is towards consolidation, and that's not good for the community," Cross said. "What you see on the national basis is these large mega-banks. They'll gather up all the deposits and make loans out of state. So you lose that local flavor, and everything gets concentrated in larger metro areas."

That contrasts with ANB's operations because their loans are made locally and customers can often learn whether or not they are approved immediately

"When you come into the office, if you have all of your information we can usually make a decision while you're in the office," Cross said. "With some of these other places they'll have to send it up the chain and it could end up being a week and a half before you find out if you're getting the loan. That's the difference in a community bank."

American Nation Bank has over $570 million worth of deposits and represents over 22% of the market share in Carter County according to the FDIC Deposit Market Share Report from June 2020, the most recent report available. There are three locations in Ardmore as well as branches in Comanche, Durant, Lone Grove, Wilson, Keller, Tex., Saginaw, Tex. They recently opened a loan production office in Marietta.