Anderson Brothers Bank
2500 E Hwy 76 & 728 N Main Street, Marion
Monday – Thursday 8:30AM – 5:00PM
Friday 8:30AM – 5:30PM
Anderson Brothers Bank offers 23 branches conveniently located in 16 communities throughout the Pee Dee, Coastal and Low-Country regions of South Carolina. The bank’s main office is located at 101 North Main Street, P.O. Box 310 in Mullins, South Carolina.
In the Beginning…
Anderson Brothers Bank was founded during the Depression period, in a day of little money and even less confidence in banks. The founding brothers Ernest & Bishop Anderson did not have any intention of establishing a bank when they were beseeched by Mullins tobacco warehousemen to finance the 1932 crops for farmers. Nonetheless, the men had a desire to help the community, and Bishop Anderson moved back to Mullins out of retirement to establish a check cashing booth to aid local farmers.
He set up a small office in a back room of a tobacco warehouse and offered to cash the checks farmers had received from the tobacco buyers for their harvest. Soon after Bishop convinced his brother Ernest to sell the successful finance company they owned, American Credit Company in Florence that specialized in auto loans, to C.I.T. and to join him in the cash depository business in Mullins.
Through Bishop Anderson’s heroics and selfless service in the check cashing booth and both men’s consistent displays of integrity, the two brothers had established impeccable reputations. They were both held in high regard in Mullins and many citizens of Mullins, acting on their respect decided to forsake any previous distrust of banks to do business with the brothers. The brothers soon converted the cash depository to a full-time commercial bank in 1933 as Anderson Brothers Bankers.
Many people brought their hard-earned money to deposit in accounts, an almost rare concept in the dark days of the Great Depression. In an example of the brothers’ passion for the community, during a bank holiday declared by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, Anderson Brothers Bankers locked the front door but continued to conduct business out of the back door, proving Anderson’s commitment to unwavering service and treatment of customers like family, a commitment that is as strong today as it was then.
E.L. Anderson made a conscious decision to begin offering automobile loans to farmers and families shortly after converting to a full time bank. At the time, auto loans were discouraged in the banking industry, and an FDIC examiner forced E.L. Anderson to travel to Washington, DC to discuss his practicing of handling auto papers. E.L. Anderson was ordered not to offer any more auto loans through the bank. Anderson however cleverly began to utilize his past experience and reorganized the American Credit Company across the street to continue to offer automobile loans. The credit company was eventually acquired by Anderson Brother Bank and operates today as its Consumer Banking Center across the street from the corporate office.
E.L. Anderson’s practice of offering automobile loans through a bank was trailblazing to say the least. Despite initial misgivings by the FDIC and other banks, the practice was soon determined to be both acceptable, successful and began increasing in popularity. EL Anderson was quoted as saying, “In the 1930’s, they just didn’t realize what good collateral an auto made. A man will keep his car even if he loses his house. Now every bank is clamoring for an auto loan.”
Since the 1930’s, Anderson Brothers Bank has continued to expand its reach in many other communities of eastern South Carolina, seeking to provide greater convenience of an overall better banking experience for those living pay check to pay check. The need for a bank that understands unfortunate events happen and are willing to help get them through difficult times is what the foundation of ABB is built on. Any history of the town of Mullins written after the 1930s would not be complete without extensive mention of the bank. Anderson Brothers Bank combines a firm grasp on the traditions and values with an ability to adapt and evolve to the changing demands consistent with technological transformation of modern life. Banking with Anderson Brothers Bank provides one the opportunity to feel the warmth, friendship, and handshake-style business of a small-town, 20th century bank while still enjoying the convenience of banking in the 21st century – online banking, mobile deposits, etc.
When asked, what sets ABB apart from all the other banks, David Anderson, Anderson Brothers Banks President & CEO was quick to answer. “It’s our consumer loan program. We do loans other banks don’t at rates finance companies can’t touch.” “Our consumer loans make up thirty percent of all our loans, while our peers have only around three percent.” “That is what sets us apart from all other banks” he said. “Our consumer’s credit scores on average are 550-680, which is lower than most banks will go and if you consume the majority of your paycheck week to week, we are your bank.”
Anderson Brothers Bank is much larger today than it was in the early days of its existence, with locations across the eastern half of South Carolina and an extensive range of services offered. Nonetheless, the bank continues to be owned and operated by the Anderson family and is headquartered in one of the original buildings in Mullins. Anderson Brothers Bank continues to offer unparalleled customer service with its main focus on community and “Treating You Like Family Since 1933.”
Written by Gib Fenters