Our Mission

“Volunteer Federal Savings Bank will, both prudently and professionally, utilize its resources to ensure ongoing stability and fulfill the financial product needs and customer service expectations of individuals, families, businesses, and communities located within and around Monroe County, Tennessee.”

People are of utmost importance at Volunteer Federal – one of its strongest assets, as well as a distinguishing characteristic. By emphasizing people and not facilities, Volunteer Federal has grown from a single room mortgage loan office into a six branch full service institution. The common denominator throughout over 40 years of Volunteer Federal history is its people.

The majority of the board of directors has been with the bank since its beginning as well. They comprise some of the most astute businesspeople in the county, who have sculpted the bank’s underlying strengths with their own principles, virtues, and community-minded leadership.

We know the continued growth and success of our business depends on the trust, friendship, and loyalty of our customers – which is dependent on our personnel. The longevity of employees at Volunteer Federal attests to its strong foundation: over 60% of our employees have been with the bank for more than 10 years. Every individual at our bank is dedicated to the financial, economic, and social strength of the communities we serve. A true spirit of giving permeates every department at Volunteer Federal. Ours is an extended family, which selflessly contributes to the well-being of each member, and extends the same caring attitude to the individual customers and to each home town community it serves.

Even with the convenience of online banking, ATMs, and mobile transactions, meeting face-to-face and personally interacting with your banker is a welcome option. At Volunteer Federal, the staff at your branch are probably the same neighbors you see at the school softball game or share a bench with at church or work with as a community volunteer. Regular customers are greeted by name as soon as they enter the lobby, and this is an aspect of doing business that our customers highly value.

Volunteer Federal is recognized for its financial strength, soundness & safety. We have consistently earned the highest rating of 5-stars from Bauer Financial, an independent and unbiased source for bank and credit union ratings. In its rating of Volunteer Federal, Bankrate noted the “very high measure of asset quality, strong capitalization, and seemingly ample liquidity.”

“Our people are responsible for our performance. Just bank with us and you’ll find out what makes Volunteer Federal a quality and caring financial institution.” – Bob Dalton, Director

Volunteer Federal Savings Bank is a mutual institution with a state charter which employs strategies that differ greatly from publicly traded financial institutions. We are not driven by returns on investment or meeting market and stockholder expectations.

Rather, we are driven by servicing our community’s financing needs while ensuring and maintaining growth, asset quality, and liquidity. This had been successfully accomplished by adhering to conservative management practices that target steady and controlled growth over the years.

This explains why Volunteer Federal continues to be profitable through difficult economic conditions. In fact, throughout our history, Volunteer Federal has never recorded a loss because its strategy is based on flexibility and long term outcomes.

This strategy has enabled Volunteer Federal to endure several crises, including the savings and loan crisis in the 1980’s.

“The success of this institution has been driven by a conservative and involved board of directors and a very diligent and enthusiastic group of service providers. The performance of Volunteer Federal begins with these two ingredients.” – Larry Hicks, Chairman

Volunteer Federal Snapshot

  • Established on January 1, 1973
  • FDIC insured since March 15, 1974 (Certificate #31694)
  • Regulated by the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions (TDFI) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
  • Ownership: Non-stock Mutual
  • Bauer Financial Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

From its very beginnings, Volunteer Federal’s focus was on “community.”

“In over 40 years of existence, Volunteer Federal has helped thousands of folks achieve one of the most important things in their lives… home ownership. Our mission from day one was to make loans for families in our community to fulfill this dream of a home. Our goals have not changed.” – Larry Hicks, Board Chairman

Volunteer Federal makes a priority of our communities’ economic and social well-being

Fundraisers benefit local causes and families in need, while our manpower and donations keep us actively involved in local youth sports, civic clubs, community services, business associations, and charitable organizations. You might find our personnel during non-work hours as volunteer firefighters, youth sports coaches, and in other roles which benefit their towns. For several years Volunteer Federal employees have organized various creative projects and events to raise money for Relay for Life, the main volunteer-driven cancer fundraising event of the American Cancer Society. We witness the true significance of our local involvement when our customers pitch in and work right alongside us, generously donating their own goods, services and hours. Look for our bold orange “Wiener Wagon,” serving hot dogs and snacks at our high school homecomings, holiday celebrations, parades, and other fun local events.

Our History In the Monroe County Community

In 1973, several prominent local businessmen saw the need to provide financing for real estate purchases within Monroe County. Up until this time, there were no local lenders in the area who would make long term loans. For the largest personal investment most local residents would make in their lifetimes, financing could only be obtained in a neighboring county, and oftentimes folks had to travel as far as Knoxville to get a home loan.

These pioneering businessmen saw an opportunity and took the initiative to establish a savings and loan association in Monroe County, for Monroe County. This insightful group included Charles Hall, John Hammontree, Gene Hicks, Stanley Pickering, Sr., Bobby Richesin, Charles Sloan, and Kendred White.

In August 1973, Volunteer Federal was organized in a mobile office on Warren Street in Madisonville, the county seat. It was started with $1.5 million in assets, pledged by the community and the seven founding members, who became the board of directors. Volunteer Federal became the first Savings and Loan institution in Monroe County to provide financing for land and home purchases. The response and support was very positive.

Upon receiving its FDIC insurance of accounts in early 1974, Volunteer Federal was able to start accepting deposits. Business was conducted from a humble rented one-room office between the old Post Office and Sheets Dry Goods Store on Main Street in Madisonville. A warehouse-type room behind the office served as the boardroom. In those days – before computers – all account ledgers were kept on paper. Banking was conducted very differently than it is today, but the hometown focus and philosophy of maintaining quality assets and a strong capital reserve became well established foundations for Volunteer Federal.

Volunteer Federal grew steadily – in fact, since 1974 the bank has never had a single losing quarter, even in its first year. As the business grew, the need became apparent for more space. Expansion into surrounding business space began with the purchase of the Sheets Building in 1980. By 1990, Volunteer Federal’s main branch occupied 4,500 sq.ft. of remodeled space, with its drive-up window where the old Post Office had stood, and parking where its original rented office had been located. A Consumer Loan Division had been opened in Sweetwater, the Tellico Plains branch was operating from a mobile facility, and a branch was opened to serve Vonore/Greenback customers.

Volunteer Federal Today

Today, Volunteer Federal’s main branch encompasses the entire block at the corner of Main St. and College St., and is part of the thriving downtown business district of Madisonville. Six Volunteer Federal branches now serve the county as its oldest locally owned financial institution. Being the “Hometown Bank” was the idea Volunteer Federal was founded on, and remains the bank’s main focus. The entire banking family appreciates the support of customers, friends, and its own employees, for the continued strength and success of the institution.

Volunteer Federal has always given back to its community, putting customers and the betterment of the local area at the top of its priority list. Support of schools, clubs, and other organizations has been a big part of the bank’s involvement. They have celebrated the good times and have stepped forward with needed support when times were not so good.

Over the years, the bank’s leaders and employees have participated in the community in a wide spectrum of activities. Some projects have had high visibility, but a larger number include “unseen” involvement – sponsorships, contributions, manpower, volunteer hours, and aid to a host of worthwhile causes. Volunteer Federal is dedicated to continuous support of education, arts, sports, and economic development programs in Monroe County. Strong communities are the result of working together, and this outlook has dictated Volunteer Federal’s participation in programs such as:

  • Monroe County Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Association Memberships and Leadership
  • Industrial Development Board of the Tellico Reservoir Development Agency (TRDA)
  • Support and Leadership for Monroe County United Way
  • Support of Volunteer Fire Departments
  • Sponsorship of youth civic and sports groups and programs
  • Support of agricultural and 4-H programs
  • Involvement in health fairs
  • Monroe County Habitat for Humanity
  • Community Christmas celebrations
  • Tornado Relief Drop Site and Funds Donated for Renovation from damages
  • Since 1987 – Support of Scholars Bowl at local high school
  • PTO organization support
  • Public Libraries and Summer Reading Programs
  • Hiwassee College Scholarships, Financial Support for Facility Improvements
  • College Loans through Tennessee Educational Asset Management Program
  • Support of the Arts and Humanities – Monroe Area Council for the Arts (MACA) and Sweetwater Valley Citizens for the Arts
  • American Cancer Society Relay for Life
  • Grassroots Bring Home the Guard Campaign
  • Wiener Wagon Program


Tired of feeling like an anonymous account number, dealing with a huge banking corporation headquartered far away? Volunteer Federal Savings Bank is a locally owned, state chartered, FDIC-insured, financial institution. As a non-stock mutually-owned savings bank, Volunteer Federal’s depositors are its owners. We offer a full line of banking services to individuals, families, businesses, and organizations within and around Monroe County. Six VolFed branch locations – in Madisonville, Sweetwater, Vonore, and Tellico Plains – serve our communities. We are dedicated to providing neighborly, friendly customer service as the area’s only hometown community bank.