Intro: Finding the Best Banks in Kentucky

In today’s fast-paced, money-based society, it is necessary to have a bank account for handling everyday financial needs that range from having a place to remote deposit your paycheck to being able to have your bills set up on auto draft. There is certainly no shortage of Kentucky banks to choose from, but how do you know which bank in Kentucky is the best one for you?

There are many things to consider when choosing a bank to do business with. While there are many great banks in Kentucky to choose from, not all Kentucky banks are created equally. Using our stringent selection methodology, we have done the research for you and put together this list of the 11 best banks in Kentucky.

Best Banks in Kentucky Red Award EmblemAward Emblem: Top Banks in Kentucky

As you peruse the information about the Kentucky banks in this article, ask yourself questions such as whether they offer the convenience services you prefer, such as mobile deposit and online bill pay. It is also important to pay attention to fees and account requirements.

As you read through our comprehensive reviews of these top-notch Kentucky banks, it is important to focus on what you want most in a bank in order to narrow down the choices and choose the best bank in Kentucky for you.

List of the Best Banks in Kentucky

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the names above to go directly to the detailed review section for that bank)

Methodology for Selecting the Best Banks in Kentucky

What methodology did we use in selecting this list of top Kentucky banks?

Using publicly available sources, AdvisoryHQ identified a wide range of banks that provide services to communities in Kentucky.

We then applied AdvisoryHQ’s “Breakthrough Selection Methodology” to identify the final list of top banks that provide services in Kentucky.

Top Banks in Kentucky

Central Bank & Trust Co. KentuckyCentral Kentucky
Community Trust BankVarious Locations
First Southern National BankCentral and Southern Kentucky
Forcht BankVarious Locations
Independence Bank of KentuckyNorthern and Southern Kentucky
Kentucky BankNorthern Kentucky
Republic Bank & Trust CompanyVarious Locations
South Central Bank, Inc. Various Kentucky
Stock Yards Bank & Trust CompanyNorthern Kentucky
Whitaker BankVarious Locations
Your Community BankNorthern Kentucky

(List is sorted alphabetically)

Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Kentucky Banks

Below, please find the detailed review of each firm on our list of top banks in Kentucky.

We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these best banks in Kentucky to score so high in our selection ranking.

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Central Bank & Trust Co. Kentucky Review

A community bank in Kentucky, Central Bank & Trust Co. was founded in 1938 in Lexington, Kentucky. Today, Central Bank has expanded its reach to include 26 full-service banking locations serving the communities of Berea, Crestview Hills, Ft. Mitchell, Georgetown, Louisville, Lexington, Nicholasville, Richmond, and Winchester.

Central Bank has built a reputation of taking care of its customers and employees. It has consistently been recognized as a best bank to work for by American Banker since 2013 and has been voted as Lexington’s best bank by the readers of the Lexington Herald-Leader for the past decade.

This top Kentucky bank currently employs approximately 500 employees and serves more than 120,000 customers with a wide range of banking, insurance, investment, and wealth management services.

Key Factors That Enabled This Bank to Rank as a Best Kentucky Bank

Below are key factors that enabled Central Bank & Trust Co. to be rated as one of this year’s top banks in Kentucky.

Flexible Checking Account Options

Today’s checking accounts require much more than a checkbook. Debit cards, online banking, and mobile banking are all must-haves in today’s busy society.

Central Bank is a bank in Kentucky that understands today’s checking needs, and it provides an array of checking account options to choose from to best-suit the checking needs of each of its customers.

Central Bank & Trust Co. Kentucky - Top Kentucky BanksImage Source: Pixabay

All checking accounts at this Kentucky bank come with the following:

  • Visa Debit card
  • Online and mobile banking
  • Mobile deposit
  • Combined statements
  • Ability to open new accounts online
  • Direct deposit
  • Consumer loan discount of 0.50% if payment is auto-deducted from account

Checking account options at this top Kentucky bank are:

  • Bleed Blue Checking: low-cost checking for those 18 and over, $6 monthly fee waived with e-statements, one checking overdraft fee waived, 50% discount on checks for those aged 55 and older
  • Central Classic Checking: rewards customers if linked to other deposit accounts, $8 monthly fee waived with minimum daily balance of $500, 50% off checks for those aged 55 and older
  • Central Interest Checking: interest-earning account, $10 monthly fee waived with minimum daily balance of $1,000, 50% off personal checks
  • Central Platinum Checking: premium interest-earning account, $15 monthly fee waived with minimum daily balance of $10,000, 50% off personal checks, free notary service
  • Central Student Checking: for students aged 14–25, $4 monthly fee waived with e-statements, 50% off mini pack of checks
  • Clean Start Checking: for those who have had checking account issues in the past, monthly fee is $8 with direct deposits or $10 without, account can be upgraded after 12 months if in good standing

All checking accounts require a minimum $10 opening deposit.

Business Services

Central Bank is dedicated to helping business owners face the challenges of growing a business. That’s why this bank in Kentucky offers a full range of commercial services to help businesses meet their long-term goals.

It has an array of banking services for businesses:

In addition to banking services, this top Kentucky bank also offers commercial lending services:

  • Term loans and equipment financing
  • SBA loans
  • Working capital lines of credit
  • Line of credit sweep
  • Letters of credit
  • Land acquisition and development loans
  • Construction loans
  • Term financing commercial real estate loans

Other business services available include:

  • Wealth management services
  • Insurance services
  • Investment services

Program of Assisted Lending

Central Bank offers a Program of Assisted Lending (PAL) that makes it easier to qualify for a small loan for just about any purpose.

This special lending program provided by this top bank in Kentucky offers a fixed-rate loan for individuals whose gross income is $30,000 or less. This loan comes with a special annual percentage rate.

Customers who choose to take advantage of a PAL loan can borrow from $500 to $3,500. Repayment terms for this program are available from 12 to 36 months.

First Southern National Bank Review

First Southern National Bank was founded in 1982 in the small town of Stanford, Kentucky where it is still headquartered today. From that first location in Stanford, purchased with a down payment of just $800, the homegrown Kentucky bank has expanded today to include 19 locations in 11 Kentucky counties.

First Southern National Bank is backed by more than $800 million in assets held by its parent company, First Southern Bancorp, Inc. This gives this bank in Kentucky the resources it needs to be able to meet the financial needs of its customers quickly and efficiently.

This top Kentucky bank operates with the purpose of using its example, influence, and resources to help others make wise financial decisions. Its decisions are driven by long-standing values which include generosity, relationships, excellence, accountability, and teamwork.

Key Factors That Enabled This Bank to Rank as a Best Kentucky Bank

Below are key factors that enabled First Southern National Bank to be rated as one of this year’s top banks in Kentucky.

Personal Loans

First Southern offers an array of personal loans to help customers fund their financial needs. Whether they need help with school tuition or need to consolidate debt, this top Kentucky bank has a solution for them.

Personal loans available from First Southern include the following:

  • Auto loans
  • Boat and recreational equipment loans
  • Second mortgage loans
  • Debt consolidation loans
  • Cash-secured loans
  • Home equity loans and lines of credit
  • Secured personal loans
  • Visa credit card

Business Checking Accounts

Every business needs a checking account, and First Southern National Bank offers a variety of accounts to fit the needs of any business. Whether a startup, small business or large corporation, this top bank in Kentucky has a checking account for businesses of all sizes.

Business checking account options are listed below:

  • First Business Checking: no minimum balance, 175 free monthly transactions, free Visa Business Debit cards, $250 minimum opening deposit
  • Business Analysis Checking: service fees charged for only the services used, fees may be offset by earning credits, free Visa Business Debit cards, $250 minimum opening deposit
  • Commercial Money Market: no minimum balance fee for balances of $2,500 or more, tiered interest rate credited monthly, free Visa Business Debit cards

Round-Up Savings

First Southern National Bank knows how important it is to save for the future, but it also knows how hard it can be to get started. That’s why it makes it easy to save with its Round-Up Savings program.

With this savings program offered by this top bank in Kentucky, all that is required for customers to automatically start saving is the use of their debit card for everyday transactions. Every time customers of this top-notch Kentucky bank use their debit card, First Southern rounds the transaction up to the next whole dollar and transfers the extra change into their savings account automatically.

This automatic savings program is offered as a free service to all customers with a First Southern National Bank checking account.

Independence Bank of Kentucky Review

The Independence Bank of Kentucky can trace its roots all the way back to 1909 with the formation of Farmers & Merchants Bank in McLean County, Kentucky. In 1971, Farmers & Merchants Bank, along with Providence State Bank in Webster County, was purchased by Charles A. Reid and Maurice E. Reisz. In 1997, the two small Kentucky banks were incorporated under the name Independence Bank.

Today, Independence Bank serves western Kentucky from 20 banking branch locations with personal and business banking services. Headquartered in Owensboro, Kentucky, this homegrown bank in Kentucky holds more than $1.8 billion in assets.

The almost 300 employees of Independence Bank adhere to the bank’s concept of “everyday excellence,” meaning that they work to exceed customer expectations every day. Its motto is that it is not the kind of bank in Kentucky that is concerned only with its bottom line but rather with doing what is right for its customers.

Key Factors That Enabled This Bank to Rank as a Best Kentucky Bank

Below are key factors that enabled Independence Bank to be rated as one of this year’s top banks in Kentucky.

Agricultural Services

Independence Bank is a Kentucky bank that has a concentration in agricultural services. Its Agricultural Services specialists are active farmers themselves, giving them a unique understanding of farmers’ needs.

This top bank in Kentucky offers an array of Agricultural Services to help customers with the production, marketing, and financial requirements that are part of operating a farm business.

Agricultural Services offered by Independence Bank are the following:

  • Agricultural checking account
  • Equipment loans
  • Farm management
  • Operating line of credit
  • Real estate loans
  • Trust and real estate planning

Business Banking

Independence Bank knows that the strength of the communities it serves is tied to the strength of the local businesses that operate there. That is why this top Kentucky bank does what it can to make itself stronger by offering a wide array of Business Banking products to fit the financial needs of its business customers.

Business Banking services offered by this best bank in Kentucky are as follows:

  • Agricultural loans
  • Business checking
  • Cash management
  • Commercial loans
  • Business lines of credit
  • Merchant services
  • Online banking
  • Small business loans

Personal Checking Account Options

Independence Bank offers a variety of personal checking account options designed to suit the checking needs of all its customers. With flexible options, such as free checking or an interest-earning account, this top Kentucky bank has something for everyone.

All checking accounts at this bank in Kentucky can be opened with a low minimum deposit amount of $50. They also all feature free online and mobile banking and free bill pay with direct deposit.

Checking account options offered by Independence Bank are:

  • Revolutionary Checking: free checking account with no monthly fee and free introductory checks
  • Patriot Checking: monthly service charge of $6 and two free boxes of checks per year
  • Capital 50 Checking: free interest-earning checking account with two free boxes of check per year, for customers aged 50 and older
  • Veterans Victory Checking: free interest-earning checking account with two free boxes of freedom checks per year, for customers who are military veterans
  • Student Advantage Checking: free checking account for students, limited to 10 checks or withdrawals per month

Republic Bank and Trust Review

Republic Bank and Trust got its start in 1977 with the acquisition of an 80-year-old bank in Shelby County, Kentucky that was renamed the Republic Bank of Shelby County. Throughout the eighties and nineties, this top Kentucky bank opened several banking centers throughout Kentucky communities.

Today, Republic Bank and Trust operates 32 banking centers across 12 Kentucky communities. The impressive bank in Kentucky also operates 12 banking centers within Indiana, Florida, Tennessee, and Ohio. Republic Bank holds more than $3.8 billion in assets and was listed by Sandler O’Neil as the 10th best-performing bank with over $3 billion in assets in 2009.

Key Factors That Enabled This Bank to Rank as a Best Kentucky Bank

Below are key factors that enabled Republic Bank and Trust to be rated as one of this year’s top banks in Kentucky.

Home Equity Line of Credit

Whether a customer wishes to save money by consolidating bills, needs to pay for a child’s college tuition or simply wishes to make some much-needed home improvements, Republic Bank can help make it happen with its home equity line of credit (HELOC).

A HELOC from this top Kentucky bank can afford customers the purchasing power that they need to be able to achieve their financial goals.

A HELOC from Republic Bank features these benefits:

  • The introductory rate of 2.99% APR for the first 12 months, then variable rates as low as 3.50% APR
  • No closing costs
  • Lines of credit up to 90% of home’s value
  • Minimum monthly payment is accrued interest or $50, whichever is greater

Credit Builder Loan and Savings Program

Republic Bank offers a Credit Builder program to help customers who have had financial difficulties in the past improve their credit score in as little as 12 months. This program offered by this top bank in Kentucky combines a loan with savings to help customers with less-than-perfect credit establish a good payment history and improve their credit score.

The Credit Builder Program works as described below:

  • Customers borrow from $500 to $1,500 for terms of 12, 18 or 24 months
  • The money borrowed is placed in a CD for the borrower and earns interest
  • The borrower makes monthly principal and interest payments, and when final payment is made, the funds may be withdrawn

Monthly payments for this program are reported to the credit bureaus so that making timely payments can improve a customer’s credit score.

Credit Cards

Republic Bank offers three great credit card options for customers to choose from. As an added bonus, all credit cards issued by this best bank in Kentucky come with Zero Liability Protection against fraudulent purchases and are embedded with microchip technology for added security.

Credit card options available from this top Kentucky bank are as follows:

  • MasterCard Personal Cash Rewards Card: earns 1% cash rewards on all purchases, no cash reward limits, no annual fee
  • MasterCard ScoreCard Rewards Card: earns free travel or merchandise with ScoreCard Rewards, no annual fee
  • MasterCard Secured Credit Card: card is secured with a deposit to help customers establish, strengthen or rebuild credit

South Central Bank, Inc. Review

South Central Bank’s history can be traced back to 1889, when Deposit Bank of Monroe County was first chartered. In 1972, James Kenneth Bale purchased Deposit Bank, and South Central Bank was born. Mr. Bale founded the Kentucky bank with a goal of providing true community-centered banking services to the families, individuals, and businesses in the local area.

Today, South Central Bank has 25 locations and assets totaling more than $908 million. The plan used to grow this successful bank in Kentucky was simply to treat all customers honestly and fairly. These values are still at the heart of South Central Bank’s business philosophy. Its operating slogan is, “Small enough to know you, big enough to help.”

Key Factors That Enabled This Bank to Rank as a Best Kentucky Bank

Below are key factors that enabled South Central Bank to be rated as one of this year’s top banks in Kentucky.

Simple Checking Account Options

Checking doesn’t have to be complicated. South Central Bank offers several simple, low-cost checking account options to help customers with their checking needs, without all the hoops other banks make customers jump through to earn the benefits.

Checking account options available at this top Kentucky bank are the following:

  • Green Tree Checking: $6 monthly fee can be avoided by enrolling in e-statements and having 15 debit card transactions a month, no minimum balance requirement, free checks
  • Green Tree Plus Checking: for customers aged 62 and up, same benefits as Green Tree Checking with additional benefits of reduced $3 monthly fee, 3 free cashier’s checks per month, 10% discount on safe deposit box rental
  • Free Checking: no monthly fee and no minimum balance requirement

All checking accounts from this top-notch bank in Kentucky come with these great benefits:

  • Minimum $100 to open
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Unlimited check writing
  • Free online banking
  • Free mobile banking
  • Free online bill pay

Business Banking Services

South Central Bank is a Kentucky bank that knows that businesses are at the heart of every local economy. That is why it offers a variety of business banking services to help businesses grow and be successful.

Business services offered by this best bank in Kentucky are as follows:

  • Business checking accounts that include free checking
  • Business loans, including agricultural and commercial loans
  • Remote deposit capture
  • Business debit card
  • Business credit card
  • Business online banking
  • Cash management services
  • ACH services
  • Merchant services
  • Investment services

Personal Credit Card Options

South Central Bank offers a wide variety of credit card options to fit the credit needs of all of its customers. With so many great credit card options to choose from, this top Kentucky bank is sure to have a credit card for everyone.

Personal credit card options are:

  • Visa Signature Bonus Rewards: earns 1 point for every dollar spent plus additional 25% bonus points on all points earned each month
  • Visa Signature Bonus Rewards Plus: earns 1 point for every dollar spent plus additional 50% bonus points on all points earned each month
  • Cash Rewards American Express: earns up to 3% cash back on gas, 2% cash back on groceries, and 1% on all other purchases
  • Travel Rewards American Express: 3x reward earnings on airline, 2x on restaurants and hotels
  • Visa Platinum:low introductory rate to help customers save on interest and pay down other credit card balances faster
  • Secured Visa: flexible credit lines based on security deposit, help build or rebuild credit
  • College Rewards Visa: to help college students build credit, earns 1 point on every dollar spent

Stock Yards Bank & Trust Company Review

Founded in 1904, Stock Yards Bank & Trust Company got its start as a small bank serving the Louisville livestock industry. From its humble beginnings, this top Kentucky bank has grown into a major bank serving the Louisville, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati area markets. Throughout its rapid growth, this once small-town bank in Kentucky has remained focused on building strong relationships with its customers.

Stock Yards Bank & Trust Company is a wholly- owned subsidiary of Stock Yards Bancorp, Inc., with company assets totaling an impressive $2.9 billion. As one of the best banks in Kentucky, Stock Yards Bank & Trust is a nationally recognized bank that is known for its exceptional service and financial performance. While it has the assets and capabilities of a national bank, this Kentucky bank has never forgotten where it came from.

Key Factors That Enabled This Bank to Rank as a Best Kentucky Bank

Below are key factors that enabled Stock Yards Bank & Trust Company to be rated as one of this year’s top banks in Kentucky.

Personal Investing and Wealth Management Services

Stock Yards Bank wants to help its customers get to where they want to be regarding their investment goals. Customers of this top Kentucky bank have access to a variety of investment and wealth management services to help guide them down their chosen financial path.

This hometown bank in Kentucky has a team of professionals on staff with the experience, education, and expertise needed to navigate the tricky roads of financial planning. It offers personalized service, along with tried and true financial solutions, to meet the needs of its customers.

Whether a customer is new to investing or considers himself/herself to be an expert, this best bank in Kentucky offers a wide array of financial solutions and products to fit each of its customer’s needs.

Products offered include Brokerage Services:

  • Individual stocks and bonds
  • Mutual funds
  • Money market funds
  • Unit investment trusts
  • Annuities and other insurance products

Wealth Management Services:

  • Investment management
  • Trust & estate services
  • Financial planning
  • Insurance planning
  • Trust administration
  • Philanthropic giving

Retirement Planning Services:

  • Individual retirement plans
  • Business retirement plans

Private Banking Services:

  • Private banking equity lines
  • Mortgage loans
  • Customized credit for personal needs
  • Checking accounts
  • Cash management
  • Medical banking and professional practice services

Business Banking

Once a small business itself, Stock Yards Bank & Trust is a Kentucky bank that understands business. It offers a wide array of business banking services to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, whether just starting out or a large, established corporation.

Business services include:

  • Business checking
  • Business savings and investments
  • Business debit cards
  • Treasury management
  • Business retirement plans
  • Merchant services
  • International banking
  • Workplace banking

This top bank in Kentucky also offers credit, loans, and leasing options for businesses. These options include:

  • Real estate loans
  • Working capital lines of credit
  • Term loans
  • SBA loan programs
  • Equipment leasing
  • Letters of credit
  • Acquisition financing
  • Tax credit/New market tax credit
  • Correspondent banking

Secure Checking

With a Secure Checking account from Stock Yards Bank & Trust, customers can rest easy that their funds are safe and secure. This specialized checking account offered by this top Kentucky bank makes it simple for customers to keep their family finances safe while taking advantage of smart discounts on financial services and everyday purchases.

Benefits of this top-notch checking account are as follows:

  • $50 minimum to open account
  • Unlimited check writing
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Free debit card, online banking, and bill pay
  • Low monthly maintenance fee of $7
  • IDProtect service
  • Accidental death and dismemberment insurance
  • Cellular telephone protection
  • Debit Advantage program
  • Travel and leisure discount membership
  • Shopping rewards
  • Health discount savings

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Your Community Bank Review

Your Community Bank first opened its doors in 1934 as First Federal Savings and Loan Association of New Albany. At the time, the nation was still enduring the Great Depression and had lost faith in financial institutions. With an original investment of less than $10,000, a small group of local businessmen organized a mutual association under the new system of federal savings and loan associations that had been authorized by Congress in 1933.

Throughout the following years, the bank continued to grow, eventually expanding its number of locations. In 1989, the name of the bank was changed to Community Savings Bank. In 1991, Community Bank Shares of Indiana, Inc. was formed as the first-ever mutual holding company and is now Southern Indiana’s largest locally-owned and headquartered bank holding company.

In 2005, the Indiana and Kentucky bank changed its name to Your Community Bank to better reflect the bank’s purpose and give it a unique brand. Today, Your Community Bank operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Community Bank Shares of Indiana, Inc. and holds $1.5 billion in assets. This top bank in Kentucky operates more than 30 banking locations in Indiana and Kentucky.

Key Factors That Enabled This Bank to Rank as a Best Kentucky Bank

Below are key factors that enabled Your Community Bank to be rated as one of this year’s top banks in Kentucky.

Lending Options

Your Community Bank offers many great personal lending options to help customers achieve their financial goals. Whether a customer is looking for financing to purchase a house, new car or to consolidate debt, this top Kentucky bank has a lending option for everyone.

Mortgage options offered by Your Community Bank are the following:

  • Fixed-rate mortgage
  • Adjustable-rate mortgage
  • Jumbo mortgage
  • FHA mortgage
  • VA mortgage
  • Construction to a permanent mortgage

Other available lending options from this top bank in Kentucky are:

  • Home equity line of credit
  • Home equity installment loan
  • Auto loans
  • Personal loans

Time Saving Technology

Your Community Bank is a Kentucky bank that understands the importance of having access to your accounts when you need it most, even when that is outside of normal business hours. Today, more people are using Internet banking than ever, so this top bank in Kentucky has made sure to keep up with the times to bring its customers fast, convenient, and secure online banking.

Online banking at Your Community Bank allows customers to:

  • Check balances and account activity
  • Transfer funds between accounts
  • Review statement history and check images
  • Access loan balance information and make payments
  • Stop payments on checks
  • Update personal information
  • Send and receive messages from the bank
  • Access bill pay
  • Access e-statements

Another convenient time-saving technology offered by this Kentucky bank is AnytimeAccess Mobile Banking. With mobile banking, customers are able to:

  • Deposit checks
  • Pay bills
  • Transfer funds between accounts
  • Complete bank-to-bank transfers
  • Send money to people
  • View transaction history
  • View account balances
  • View account alerts

Business Services

Your Community Bank offers a variety of business services to local businesses. With a goal of helping business owners succeed in their ventures, this best bank in Kentucky offers the following services for businesses:

  • Business checking
  • Cash management
  • Notary services
  • Business debit cards

It also offers lending options for businesses:

  • Term loans
  • Construction loans
  • Revolving line of credit
  • Non-revolving line of credit

To browse exclusive reviews of all top rated banks in Kentucky, please click on any of the links below

Conclusion – Top 11 best Banks in Kentucky

As you have had the chance to read the reviews of the 11 best banks in Kentucky, it is our hope that you have been able to narrow down the list of Kentucky banks even further to the one that is the best bank in Kentucky for you.

The Kentucky banks found on this list are conveniently located throughout the state of Kentucky, including banks in parts of northern, central, and southern Kentucky as well as other various locations throughout the state. No matter what your location in Kentucky, you should have access to one of the top banks in Kentucky.

Each of the banks in Kentucky on this list offers a variety of personal and business traditional banking products, including checking and savings, lending programs, and credit cards. In addition, each bank in Kentucky on this list has also earned a stellar reputation in the communities it serves and has an established background with many decades of banking experience.

The banks in Kentucky on this list are all dedicated to providing financial education to help their customers make informed financial decisions. Education is provided in the form of free financial seminars and financial resources and calculators made available on their websites.

This list provides a good starting point for finding the best Kentucky bank to do business with, but, as always, it is important to do your own research and due diligence when selecting a financial institution.

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