Brannen Bank: A Tiny, Mystery Bank! We Don’t Love It…

Brannen Bank is a local banking option if you live in the Citrus, Marion, or Hernando Counties of Florida. Overall, we weren’t terribly impressed, but we go through the basics, pros, and cons below. 

Updated February 2024
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Fact checked by John Wayman

Brennen Bank featured image

Brannen Bank has been providing financial solutions to its customers in Florida for over 100 years. Over this time it has earned a solid reputation for its dedication to excellence. This Florida-based financial institution offers only very basic services, including personal and business checking and savings accounts, treasury management, and CDs.

During our review, while we found they seem to have earned a solid reputation, we were a bit underwhelmed by their overall offering. 

They only offer the most basic services, they have a very limited branch and ATM network, it’s difficult to find current rates offered, and their website and technology appear a bit dated. 

These days, it’s really not hard to find a bank that will have a better offer in all of the above categories, even for someone just starting out, so we found this a bit disappointing. While we understand Brannen is a small, local, community bank, we struggled to find a compelling reason why we, or anyone else, should sign up. 

We took a closer look at the key features offered by Brannen Bank, and here’s what we found.

Products And Services Offered Are Fairly Light

Brannen Bank offers only the most basic products and services for both personal and small business customers. Personal banking options include checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, money market accounts, and IRAs. The bank also offers consumer loans like mortgage, auto, and RV loans. But details about these offerings are scant, you’ll have to stop by one of their branches in-person to find out all the features, terms, and rates – a major hassle in this day in age. 

Notably absent from their product lineup is a credit card offering! 

For business customers, the bank provides a small range of commercial banking solutions such as business checking accounts, commercial lending products, cash management services, and merchant services. 

Overall this is a very light product lineup. It’s probably only useful for people who are just starting out or for people who only have the most basic needs. We found it frustrating that even what we consider basic information about some of their products was not readily available. 

Checking Accounts – Not Terribly Impressive Options

Brannen Bank offers two different checking accounts, including personal and business options. Personal checking accounts include the Simply Free Checking Account and the Brannen Banker Plus account.

We didn’t particularly like either option but see below for additional details. The Simply Free account was incredibly basic, you even have to pay for checks, something most banks include in even their most basic checking account. The Brannen Banker Plus option was also not a great deal, as you will have to pay a $10/month maintenance fee to get basic features that are just included for free at most other banks. 

Simply Free Checking Account

This account has no monthly maintenance fees and comes with a free debit card. A minimum deposit of $50 is required, and customers can also take advantage of online banking, bill pay, and mobile banking.

This is an ok, basic checking account for those who want to keep their banking simple and affordable.

Pros

  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Easy to access and manage funds

Cons

  • No interest payments
  • Limited features compared to other accounts
  • You have to pay for checks – we didn’t think people still did this!

Brannen Banker Plus Account

For customers on the hunt for something a little more sophisticated, and the chance to earn interest on funds, the Brannen Banker Plus account is an option. This account requires a minimum deposit of $50 and has a monthly maintenance fee of $10.

Customers receive unlimited check-writing privileges, free online banking and bill pay, and access to a good network of ATMs to ensure that they always have access to their money.

This account is ideal for customers who want more features than the Simply Free Checking Account, but don’t need the full range of services offered by a premium checking account.

Pros

  • Unlimited check-writing privileges
  • Earn interest on funds
  • Access to ATMs nationwide

Cons

  • Monthly maintenance fee unless you maintain a combined daily average of $2500
Brannen Bank Assets

Savings Accounts – Hard To Really Know

In addition to checking accounts, Brannen Bank also offers a range of savings accounts, including Personal Savings and Personal Money Market options.

If you read our site much, you know we’re not a fan of savings accounts, there are much better ways to have access to liquidity. However, with most banks, you can at least see the terribly low rate they’re offering for their savings account.

Unfortunately, Brannen Bank does not post its current savings deposit rates – this is a huge red flag! 

Personal Savings

As the name suggests, this is an account for those who want to save money. This account requires a minimum deposit of $50, and customers can earn interest on their savings; Brannen claims to offer competitive rates but does not disclose what those rates are! ?

There is a monthly maintenance fee of $3, but this can be waived by simply ensuring that you always have a $200 balance in your account each day.

Pros

  • Earn interest
  • Low minimum deposit
  • Easy access to funds via online banking or mobile banking

Cons

  • Monthly maintenance fee – though this can be waived if the minimum balance requirements are maintained
  • No access to checks

Student Savings

Another product of Brannen Bank is its Student Savings account. This account is an ok option for students who want to start saving money and building good financial habits, as it has a minimum deposit of just $25, and no monthly maintenance fees, allowing you to save more of your money.

The bank also offers a variety of other benefits to help students get the most out of their savings, including interest on funds saved in one of their student accounts.

Pros

  • No minimum balance or maintenance fee
  • Earn interest on funds
  • Access to online and mobile banking

Cons

  • Interest rates may be higher at other banks
  • No access to checks

Personal Money Market

The Personal Money Market account is a slightly better option for customers who want to maximize their savings, as it requires a minimum deposit of $50 and offers some of the highest interest rates. Customers also receive free online banking, mobile banking, and access to ATMs nationwide, as well as access to checks – this is a feature that is noticeably absent from the other savings accounts.

But again, unlike almost every single other bank, current rates are not posted or available to review. This is unacceptable!

There is a monthly maintenance fee of $10 to use and hold the account, but this can be waived by maintaining a daily balance of $1500, or an average daily balance of $2500 – both of which are great incentives to save, rather than withdraw your cash early.

Pros

  • Access to higher rates of interest
  • Access to checks
  • No minimum balance or maintenance fee if the requirements are met

Cons

  • A monthly maintenance fee does apply – this can be waived by maintaining a minimum balance

Christmas Club

The final main savings option offered by Brannen Bank is the Christmas Club account and, as the name suggests, this is a product aimed at those wanting to save up for their holiday shopping or something special at the end of the year.

This account has a minimum deposit of just $5 and no monthly maintenance fees. Customers can make deposits throughout the year, and the bank also offers competitive interest rates, so you can earn some extra cash while you save.

Generally, we think these accounts are a bit of a gimmick. We definitely do NOT recommend them. ☠️

They seem to be popular at very small financial institutions, like Brannen, though. If you’re really bad at managing your finances, this can be an option to save for the holidays, but know that you’re losing money in real dollars to inflation, since they pay a tiny interest rate. 

Pros

  • Low minimum deposit and no maintenance fees
  • Earn interest on deposits
  • Easy access to funds via online banking or mobile banking

Cons

  • Interest rates may be higher at other banks
  • No access to checks
Facts about Banks in Florida

Certificates Of Deposits

Brannen Bank also offers Certificates of Deposit (CDs), which can be a better-than-nothing way to save money while earning more interest than a traditional savings account. CDs require customers to deposit an initial amount, and then the customer agrees not to withdraw funds for a certain period of time; in return, they receive higher interest rates.

Brannen Bank offers CDs with terms ranging from 6 months to 5 years and customers have the option to withdraw funds early, though they may be charged a penalty.

Similar to other products we’ve mentioned, Brannen Bank does not list current rates for their CDs! We doubt this is a good sign❗️

Pros

  • Higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts
  • Flexible terms, from 6 months to 5 years
  • Secure way to save money

Cons

  • Early withdrawal may incur a penalty
  • Current rates not posted 
  • Generally, CDs are not a high-earning investment, sometimes not even keeping pace with inflation 

Other Financial Products Offered

In addition to the checking and savings accounts we have mentioned, Brannen Bank also offers a variety of other financial products and services, and these include:

Home Mortgages

Details about their mortgages are non-existent, we couldn’t find any information at all. Yikes. 

They do mention that they also do construction loans, as well. 

Consumer Loans

Brannen Bank offers a range of consumer loans, from auto loans to personal loans. You may not be surprised by now, but there was no additional information about these products offered, just that they are willing to offer them. 

Business Banking Services

For business owners, Brannen Bank provides super basic services including business checking accounts, merchant services, and more.

Customer Service – One Bright Spot ✅

Finally, we will mention that Brannen Bank offers excellent customer service and support. Customers can get in touch via phone, email, or online chat and the bank’s staff is always eager to help. 

Typically, when we’re checking out the reviews and customer satisfaction for financial services and institutions, the overall mood is fairly firm. But, here we found a bright spot for Brannen, as they had consistently high feedback from their customers. Well done. 

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We're not rushing down to Florida to open an account

If you’re a local and only need the most basic of banking services, Brannen could be an option.

But it’s actually tough to know since they really don’t provide much up-to-date information about their services and rates. 

We also found their website and online banking to be incredibly basic and a bit dated. 

It’s really not hard to find a better alternative these days, that offers a full suite of banking products and services, clear rates for each, and excellent technology. 

So, unfortunately, we’re moving on as we look for where to open our next bank accounts! 

Editor's Note:

At Personal Finance Guru, we want to help you maximize your lifestyle through personal finance. You can trust the integrity of our independent financial advice. Our opinions are our own and have not been provided, reviewed, approved, or endorsed by any advertiser or financial product provider. To support and grow the site, however, we may receive compensation from the issuers of some products.

Cathy Gresham

Cathy Gresham

Editor & Author

Cathy Gresham is a finance whiz. 

After earning her MBA from The Wharton School, she has worked in strategy at some of the world’s largest and most influential financial companies for 20+ years. Notably, she has worked for the biggest credit card issuers and networks and brings an insider’s perspective to how credit card products work behind the scenes.  

Cathy is passionate about personal finance and investing, and loves helping people learn about these complex topics. Her wit and humor make learning about money fun, and she’s always happy to share her knowledge with others.

Cathy enjoys spending time with her family and friends when she’s not crunching numbers or developing investment strategies. She’s also an avid runner, and can often be found pounding the pavement on her morning jog.