It all started in Sandston, Virginia in 1933. It was during the Great Depression – a time when thousands of financial institutions across the nation had failed, unemployment was rampant, and the stock market was in one of the worst slumps in its history. Local bookkeeper James B. Bourne, Sr. was part of a group of men who recognized a need to help homeowners in the area satisfy notes held on their properties, so he helped organize a small group of local residents to form a savings and loan association that could raise funds through federal agencies and private investments. The group acquired Federal Charter No. 30 and was established as the Federal Savings and Loan Association of Sandston.
In 1941, Federal Savings and Loan Association moved to Franklin Street in Richmond, hence the name change to Franklin Federal Savings and Loan Association of Richmond. In 1956 it moved its headquarters and downtown branch from Franklin Street to Seventh and Broad Streets.
In 1959, James B. Bourne Jr. succeeded his father at the helm of the organization and became the youngest savings and loan president in Virginia at age 29. Despite his youth and just five years of experience, he proved a highly capable leader. In six years assets doubled from $38.1 million to $75.6 million and four additional branches were opened in the Richmond area.
In 1963 Franklin Federal was the first savings and loan association in the area to pay interest on savings accounts from the day of deposit to the day of withdrawal. Under the direction of James B. Bourne, Jr., the company moved into the electronic age to provide more efficient customer service.
During the 1980s the savings and loan industry experienced one of the worst periods in its history and many savings and loans institutions failed. Franklin Federal remained true to its original mission and philosophy and survived the thrift crisis as one of the strongest savings and loans in the nation.
In the last several decades, Franklin Federal has experienced continued growth. In 1996, Richard T. Wheeler, Jr. was promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer. Four years later, Franklin Financial Center was established to offer financial planning to customers. In 2001, the savings and loan was reorganized into a federally chartered mutual holding company (Franklin Financial Corporation, MHC) and Franklin Federal was re-chartered as a federal stock savings and loan association.
In 2008 while celebrating its 75th anniversary, Franklin Federal Savings and Loan conducted in-depth customer and market research. The result was a new name, Franklin Federal Savings Bank, and new look which was introduced in April, 2009. Franklin Federal began offering its first ever money market checking account as well as a new and improved youth savings account - Kids Count Club account - with a focus on teaching customers' children and grandchildren about the process and value of saving.
Today, approximately 100 people are employed by Franklin Federal Savings Bank in its eight branches and one corporate headquarters throughout Richmond, Henrico County, Hanover County and Chesterfield County; and assets have reached $1 billion. Franklin Federal Savings Bank continues to actively consider new loan and deposit products and additional services while remaining grounded in the principles that have made it a successful financial resource for people in Central Virginia for more than 75 years.