This article which was written by Aleah Ingram appeared on LDSDaily.com on 21 April 2016. This is an excerpt.
During the Kirtland era, when the gathering of new converts to northeast Ohio was at a peak, crippling poverty was a serious issue. One of the proposed solutions was to establish a bank, which would allow the Church to raise money and provide credit for the struggling Saints. However, the timing of the venture was not fortuitous. Due to the recent legislature, the bank wasn’t able to get the charter they needed. Requests for all new banks, which were doubling during the Kirtland era, were being denied across Ohio.
Instead, the brethren decided to open the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company. Its doors opened January 2, 1837. Before the year was over, the bank would be forced to close as financial panic gripped the country and opposition grew. The experience would prove to be a refiner’s fire for many Church members; apostasy would lead many to leave and speak out against Joseph Smith and other Church leaders.