Our History

We've got a story to tell.

First Federal Bank's original Board of Directors sit around a desk.

Original Board of Directors, 1962

In 1962, a group of businessmen in a small town in North Florida united together to form First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Live Oak, as a way to provide home loans and savings accounts to their neighbors. Their passion for our local community and drive to give them the best service around has led First Federal Bank to what it is today.

After steady growth in the 1960s, First Federal expanded into Hamilton and Lafayette Counties. In the 1980s, we moved in to Columbia County and later offered our first checking account. By 2010, we expanded our reach within our existing market area, opened the John S. Flood Financial Center (Operations), and opened new branches in Nassau and Baker Counties. In the early 2010s, First Federal branched out to the Florida Panhandle serving Holmes, Jackson, and Washington Counties, and Bay County in 2016.  In 2018, we acquired branches in Nassau and Marion Counties in Florida, branches in Beaufort County, South Carolina, and opened a branch in Gainesville, Florida.

From the start, First Federal has been committed to both exceptional service and value. Today, we are a community-based mutual bank that serves over 70,000 customers from 25 community banking branches, mortgage lending offices in Florida, and South Carolina, and SBA and USDA lending offices in the Southeast. Because we are a mutual bank, we are owned by our customers and not stockholders, which allows us to truly focus on our customers’ needs.

Built on conservative yet progressive principles, over the past 5 years, First Federal has increased its business lines to include a mortgage processing company, wholesale lending, specialty commercial financing, warehouse lending, consumer direct lending, and a manufactured housing lending division. This diversity allows First Federal to serve more people and businesses across the Southeast.

First Federal’s business lines all share the common thread of being passionately committed to helping our neighbors and local communities thrive. We offer a range of products and services aimed at giving our customers all the financial tools they need for easy personal and business banking.

Over the last 60 years, First Federal Bank has grown from a local savings and loan institution in Live Oak, Florida, to a multi-faceted bank spanning parts of Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas and Wisconsin. With assets of approximately $3.8 billion and daily liquidity up to $1 billion, we are one of the country’s few community-based mutual banks. Being owned mutually by our depositors, and not shareholders, means we are more responsive to our highly diversified consumer and commercial clients.

We are honored to be named Newsweek's Best Small Bank in Florida for the third year in a row. We have established ourselves as a community and economic partner, investing our time and energy into the markets we serve with charitable giving and volunteering efforts.

Our high quality portfolio is invested in diverse sectors, without exposure to cryptocurrency, and carefully managed by strict policies to ensure it is maintained. Our stable, loyal client base includes significant municipal deposits. We are OCC regulated, FDIC insured and a Qualified Public Depository. BauerFinancial’s 5 Star Rating has been awarded to us annually for over 20 years, showing a record of stability and accountability. We also offer IntraFi Network Deposits to give our customers deposit insurance for balances over $250k.

Our financial stability is important to us, because we know how important it is to our communities.

We have been ranked “5 Star, Superior” by BauerFinancial, since 2000*.

*BauerFinancial, Inc. is an independent rating company, from Coral Gables, Florida. Click here for more info.
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