I read the Great Bend Tribune article: “First Kansas to acquire Bank of America branches” (Feb. 26 issue). I am pleased to hear that a local bank, First Kansas Bank, founded in the year 1900, plans to acquire Bank of America branches in Great Bend, Hays, Lindsborg, McPherson, Caney, Coffeyville, Independence, Hutchinson, Salina, and Emporia. The bank, according to the article, owned by the Sutherland family also owns a chain of other Kansas banks in Great Bend, Hoisington, Salina, Parsons, Claflin, Ellsworth, McPherson, Abilene, Chanute, Erie, Independence, and Oswego, Kansas.
This broader network, although extensive, will be “Kansans helping patronize Kansans”. And, it will help First Kansas Bank truly gain a larger geographical foothold in the state which its name implies. I am always pleased by people putting diversifying and putting their savings and checking dollars into diverse banks. However, given the recent financial turmoil of the last decade, I am even fonder of people having their hard-earned dollars in smaller banks which are “closer to home” and by which accountability isn’t an answering-machine or a customer-service representative in India or in the Philippines. Too many people put their “financial eggs” into a single basket. That is always a bit risky and some huge conglomerate banks have a mentality that they are “too big to fail”; yet some do fail. I have nothing against Bank of America. I still utilize them for my credit-card needs. However, I wish First Kansas Bank continuing success in their over 114 years of serving Kansans.
James A. Marples