Growing with the Bank of Yazoo CityBy JAMIE PATTERSON,
For over a century, the Bank of Yazoo City has stood as a testament of quality service, community dedication and loyal integrity.
What began in 1876 as a means to supply capital to the cotton industry has now grown into a financial institute that continues to adapt with technology while remaining true to the successful tradition of customer loyalty. And now, the bank continues to invest in the community it serves with a construction project to enhance its busiest branch on Jerry Clower Boulevard.
“We are a direct result of how unique Yazoo County is,” said President Van Ray. “We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the people of Yazoo County.”
BYC began over a century ago when a group of local businessmen gathered in the home of Yazoo City alderman and merchant Robert Clayton Shepherd. The men wanted to form a bank that would supply the capital for the cotton industry, which was beginning to rebound after the Civil War. The stockholders were able to raise $41,300 for the new bank, opening its doors in October of 1876.
“The employees who followed after our founding fathers were a direct result of all that hard work done before us,” Ray said. “It’s nothing we have done now. It is all the work done from 1876 forward that makes us unique.”
The tradition of loyal customer and community service has remained within the long history of BYC. But it is also about the banking family within its foundation. Many employees and directors are descendants of the bank’s first leaders.
“We have fourth-generation directors, and many of the people who work here go back three or four generations,” Ray said. “We have some directors who have served here longer than some banks have been in existence.”
BYC is the second oldest bank in the state, an honor the institution takes pride in.
“That is so unique about a bank this day and time,” Ray said. “Most banks are 20 to 30 years old, and we are over 140 years old.”
And it is not just the directors and employees who have a long history with BYC. It is the customer base as well.
“We have families who are customers for three or four generations,” Ray said. “Most people don’t have that in their community.”
Upgrades and technology advancements are also embedded in the bank’s operations. The first drive‑through service was added in the fifties, and internet banking arrived in the nineties. That same mentality to remain in the front of customers’ needs is evident with BYC’s latest investment.
The Jerry Clower Boulevard branch is the busiest branch within the BYC system. With heavy traffic and a need to upgrade services, the bank began construction on a more feasible branch in September of 2017. The 3,200-square-foot branch is anticipated to open in the fall season.
With each expansion or upgrade, one thing will remain consistent with BYC. The bank is a part of Yazoo history and will continue to provide exceptional financial services to the community it serves.