Rogersville-based Legacy Bank & Trust Co. completed its purchase of First National Bank of Clinton. The deal closed on February 16th, with Legacy Bank adding three branches in Clinton and Springfield, Missouri to its portfolio. "Our associates have worked especially hard over the past 12 months in creating new products and services that will not only benefit our existing customers, but also our new customers from First National Bank," said John Everett, president and CEO of Legacy Bank, in a press release. Aaron Buerge, First National's president and CEO, became a board member of Ozarks Heritage Financial and Legacy Bank. Through the purchase, Legacy Bank's assets now exceed $230 million. It employs 70 people at seven branches.
Sunrise Banks CEO David Reiling has been named by Trust Across America as a 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree. Reiling is joined by seven other Lifetime Achievement Honorees this year and is the first CEO in the financial industry to receive this award. Honorees stand out as individuals who have been named a Top Thought Leader 5 times and continue to instill the values, principles, and beliefs essential to building a foundation of trust. "I am humbled to be recognized by Trust for a lifetime of achievement and it is an honor to be recognized among such great leaders," said Reiling. "Trust is a two-way street. Leaders must earn the trust of the people that support them. In turn, people must trust their leader and share their vision and drive for success. Shared trust is what makes positive change possible."
South Carolina Community Bank, plagued by problematic commercial real estate loans and other struggles since the economic crisis of 2008, has witnessed progress in recent months. New president and CEO Dominik Mjartan, in his fourth month at the helm of South Carolina Community Bank, said that it has raised more than $11 million in new deposits and closed more than $3 million in new loans to small businesses, nonprofits, and individuals. "We've cleaned up," said Mjartan. "I believe, and this bank will prove it, that margin and mission are mutually reinforcing." Mjartan elaborated on avoiding future turmoil through diversification and finding niche opportunities for investment.
Urban Partnership Bank in Chicago is considering selling itself. The $484 million-asset bank is seeking to determine possible interest from buyers. David Vitale, Urban Partnership's chairman, said that the bank, which has shrunk over the past seven years, would benefit from being part of a better capitalized entity. Urban Partnership, designated as a minority bank, was formed in 2010 to buy the failed ShoreBank. Vitale said that Urban Partnership could also stay independent, with a decision likely this spring.
Carver Federal Savings Bank disclosed a regulatory filing that it will sell its corporate office building to a unit of New York real estate company Gatsby Enterprises for $19.5 million. The $656 million-asset company said that it will lease a portion of the property for its main office, through it will move its administrative staff to a nearby location in Harlem.
A task force has recently been established to address the issue of banking deserts in and around Shreveport, Louisiana, a city struggling with rampant payday lending. The task force's top priority is to find either a bank or a credit union who could take some of the parish's deposits and open branches inside banking deserts. Louisiana, which has more payday lender storefronts than McDonalds locations, is in dire need of trusted financial institutions. The task force took inspiration from New York state's creation of a new banking development district in the notoriously poor South Bronx. The state subsequently deposited $10 million into Spring Bank, headquartered in the South Bronx.
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss) will resign from the Senate on April 1, ending a four-decade congressional career and triggering a fall election that could carve new divisions in the Republican Party and endanger the GOP Senate majority. Cochran, 80, has been suffering from health problems in recent months. "I regret that my health has become an ongoing challenge," he said in a statement. "I intend to fulfill my responsibilities and commitments to the people of Mississippi and the Senate through the completion of the 2018 appropriations cycle, after which I will formally retire from the US Senate." When he steps down, chairmanship of the Appropriations Committee is expected to pass to Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala), who is next in the line of seniority.
The Wall Street Journal presents “A Portrait of Poverty in America: Job Insecurity and Payday Lending.” The video examines the rampant poverty and high unemployment levels in Holmes County, Mississippi, and highlights the effort of BankPlus to help citizens make ends meet.
Mission Valley Bank, located in Sun Valley, CA, has just announced that 2017 was its most profitable year to date. "As the founding President of Mission Valley, I am pleased to share that 2017 was another strong year for our organization," said President & CEO Tamara Gurney. Net earnings totaled a 2% increase over those of 2016. As of December 31, 2017, total assets reached $330 million, up $5 million from December 31, 2016.
Historically black banks have had a strong role in black communities. Their loans often finance projects that other banks wouldn't take on, and at fairer interest rates. And yet, policymakers rarely focus on partnering with or addressing the top priorities of black banks. Evelyn Smalls, President and CEO of United Bank of Philadelphia, explained the importance of finding investors who also understand and place value in the mission of a community bank, especially a black-owned community bank. Joe Haskins, CEO of the Harbor Bank of Maryland, elaborated, saying, "If I can raise the capital, I can scale Harbor eight to ten fold over the next two years or so. The demand is there."