The Organizers of 1st Trust Bank decided to establish the Bank because of their belief in the value of customer service. In recent years, some Hazard banks have been acquired by regional multi-bank holding companies headquartered outside of Hazard. In many cases, these acquisitions and consolidations have been accompanied by fee changes, management and personnel changes, branch closings, and the dissolution of local boards of directors. This resulted in a decline in the level of personalized customer service. In the opinion of the Organizers, this situation created a favorable opportunity for a new commercial bank to attract those customers who prefer to conduct business with a locally managed institution that demonstrates an active interest in their businesses and personal financial affairs. It is believed that a locally managed institution will be better able to deliver more timely responses to customer requests, provide customized financial products and services, and offer the personal attention of its senior banking officers.
On June 2, 2004, the Organizers filed an application with the KOFI for permission to operate a state-chartered bank, as well as an application with the FDIC for deposit insurance for Bank deposits. On December 13, 2004 KOFI and the FDIC granted 1st Trust Bank their banking charter and insurance. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Tuesday December 14, 2004, to announce the opening of the newest locally owned bank in Hazard, Kentucky .