In 1896, Biloxi was experiencing rapid growth resulting from a highly successful and world-renowned seafood industry. In addition, timber and tourism industries were also flourishing further contributing to Biloxi’s significant development and prosperity resulting in Mississippi Governor A.J. McLaurin officially declaring Biloxi a city, its population having soared to 5,000.
Recognizing the growing necessities of its local economy, The Peoples Bank was organized in April of 1896 to address the increasing need for banking services. The first The Peoples Bank building was erected on the northwest corner of Howard and Lameuse Streets. The bank officially opened for business on April 13,1896 and remained there until moving to its present location diagonally opposite the original location in 1925.
The Swetman family of Biloxi has been associated with the bank since its inception in 1896. J.W. Swetman was one of the founders and his brother, Orcenith George (O.G.) Swetman joined the bank as assistant cashier in 1903; serving as the president and chief executive officer from 1951 to 1963. Glenn L. Swetman, son of O.G. Swetman, was elected president that year and served as president and chairman of the board until succeeded by his son, Chevis C. Swetman, in December of 1983. For over 123 years, The Peoples Bank has taken a genuine interest in providing financial products and services in meeting the banking needs of the Mississippi Gulf Coast community. Furthermore, guided by the Swetman family, the bank has also been instrumental in preserving the heritage of the Mississippi Gulf Coast resulting in establishing The Peoples Heritage Foundation in 1981 to further preservation and restoration efforts of local structures of historical significance.
As of June 30, 2021, The Peoples Bank had $768 million in assets and operates 18 branches along the Mississippi Gulf Coast in Hancock, Harrison, Jackson and Stone counties. In addition to a comprehensive range of retail and commercial banking services, the bank also operates a trust and investment services department that has provided customers with financial, estate and retirement planning services since 1936. The Peoples Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Peoples Financial Corporation, listed on the OTCQX Best Market under the symbol PFBX.