|Farmers & Merchants Bank|
Online Banking/Business Accounts
Online Banking/Personal Accounts
On the morning of October 12, 1907, C.J. Walker watched closely as a half million dollars in gold was transferred from an express train to his wagon. The chief of police nervously cradled his shotgun and scanned the Long Beach station at Second and Pacific. Then Walker snapped the reins and the horse-drawn wagon drew the load of coins and bars up the road.
Pulling up to First National Bank, the men hurriedly got the gold inside, stacking it pyramid style in the windows and on the counters. No sooner had the last bar been stacked than crowds began to descend upon the bank; the mob was clamoring for cash. Walker stood on the counter, gold bars at his feet, and invited them in.
A few days earlier, First National's officers, who had invested the depositors' funds in a way that was self-serving, had asked Walker to assume the bank presidency. He knew the institution had been badly mismanaged, and that a run on the bank was likely.
A prominent Long Beach businessman with an outstanding reputation for trustworthiness and integrity, Walker agreed to assume the presidency if all the other officers would resign. He then used the bank's assets as collateral to borrow $500,000 in gold from a Los Angeles bank.
Armed with honesty, integrity and more than enough gold to pay off all the depositors, Walker stopped the run. In just six weeks, however, he resigned the presidency when the Los Angeles owners of First National began issuing directives which he felt were no longer in the best interests of the community.
Determined to create a sound financial institution that would serve the people of Long Beach, C.J. Walker and his wife Carrie established F&M Bank on November 23, 1907.
Through the intervening years, F&M has remained honorable and strong - weathering the Great Depression, the 1933 Long Beach earthquake and more without ever resorting to outside aid. In fact, following the quake, it was the bank that kept the community afloat, taking payment of interest only when borrowers couldn't amortize their loans, and suspending foreclosures so customers wouldn't have to choose between paying mortgage interest and feeding their families.
Since that time, F&M has remained in the hands of the Walker family, and has worked to improve life in Long Beach. From buying 100% of the bonds to fund the building of new schools, to working with a commercial builder devastated by the 1994 Northridge earthquake for five years to restore his ability to make payments, we have worked to fulfill a mission to our customers and our community.
Today, F&M operates 20 branches in Long Beach and Orange County, with a full range of advanced personal and business banking services. However, our objective has not changed: keeping the bank strong, conservative and friendly, and treating our customers as part of an extended family.
Viewing fiscal responsibility as a service to our community and depositors, F&M Bank maintains a capital ratio approximately four times higher than the limit set by regulators.
302 Pine Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90802
|Title:||Farmers & Merchants Bank|
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