Brief History of Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Company

In 1904, the One Cent Savings Bank, now Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Company, became the first minority-owned bank in Tennessee. Only one other bank, a branch of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company Bank (1865) based in Washington, D.C., had been operated for the African-American community in Nashville since the Civil War.






Now the oldest, continuously operating, minority- owned bank in the United States, Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Company was founded by distinguished community leaders, including R. H. Boyd, the Reverend Preston Taylor, J. B. Bosley, E. B. Jefferson, J. S. Ewing, J. A. Cullom, the Reverend William Haynes and J. W. Grant.  It was determined that charter members would include those who contributed at least $100 to the capital stock.  Each of the nine men in attendance pledged the $100.  With that meeting the One Cents Savings Bank and Trust Company was born.  The bank opened on January 16, 1904.  Its first home was donated space in Napier’s law office.  Although, the bank’s name suggested that an account could be opened with one cent, ten cents was the minimum deposit accepted.

In 1922, Citizens Savings Bank and Trust Company relocated to the former Duncan Hotel, home of the Colored YMCA and other African-American Owned agencies. When other local banks failed during the Great Depression, Citizens Bank survived through conservative lending policies and by encouraging systematic savings.


Other facts include:

1904-1922: Richard Henry Boyd served as the bank’s first president. Boyd also founded the National Baptist Publishing Board, now known as R. H. Boyd Publishing Corp., in 1896. 

1920: One Cent Savings Bank changes its name to Citizens Savings Bank & Trust Co.

February 20, 1922: Bank moved to the Duncan Hotel, which also housed the Colored YMCA at Fourth  Avenue and Cedar Street (now Charlotte Avenue).

1922 to 1959: Henry Allen Boyd, son of R.H. Boyd, serves as the bank’s second president.

1929 – 1959: Citizens survives the Great Depression; including from Richard Henry Boyd telling tellers to stack bundles of cash in the window and teller cages during a run on the bank.

1946: Citizens Bank reached $1 million in capital and deposits.

1959-1978: Meredith G. Ferguson served as the bank’s third president.

1969: Citizens Bank reaches the $5 million-asset mark.

1974: The bank moved into the Morris Memorial Building at 330 Charlotte Ave.

1978-1979: T.B. Boyd Jr., ancestor of Richard Henry Boyd, served as Citizens’ Chairman of the Board.

1978-1984: Richard A. Lewis served as Citizens’ fourth president.

1979: Bank branch opened on Jefferson Street after buying property from First American.

1982-2017:  T.B. Boyd III, son of T.B. Boyd Jr., served as chairman of Citizens Bank.

1984-1988: Henry Hill Jr. serves as Citizen’s fifth president.

1985: Citizens Bank moved into Citizens Plaza at Charlotte and Fourth Avenue North.

1988-1995: Rick Davidson becomes the bank’s sixth president.

1995: Citizens Bank moves its Corporate Headquarters to 1917 Heiman Street.

1995-2018: Deborah Cole becomes the bank’s seventh president and CEO.

2006: Opened Memphis Location, 7444 Winchester Road.

2014: The Bank reached its goal of $100 million in assets.

2017: Attorney Richard Manson elected as Citizens Bank’s Chairman of the Board of Directors.

2018: Sergio Ora appointed President and Chief Executive Officer.