Harrell Bancshares to Acquire Two Benton County Signature Branches

by Worth Sparkman  on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010 11:42 am  

Northwest Arkansas continues to be a hot spot for banking in the state, despite significantly slower growth than was seen in 2004 when competing investor groups started three new institutions.

One of those "new" banks, Signature Bank of Arkansas, will sell two of its Benton County offices this week to First Bank of Hampton.

The Rogers and Siloam Springs offices will reopen as First Bank on Monday, said Jon Harrell, president of the Rogers bank.

Harrell said terms will not be disclosed, but said First Bank will acquire about $75 million in deposits and about $75 million in assets in the deal.

First Bank was known as Calhoun County Bank until about 30 days ago, when it received approval from the Arkansas State Bank Department to change its name.

Harrell, whose family owns Harrell Bancshares Inc. of Camden, will remain the Rogers president and said Tim McCord will be the Siloam Springs president.

As of June 30, the Rogers branch had $21.28 million in deposits and the Siloam Springs branch had $66.92 million in deposits.

Chance to Expand

Randy Dennis, president of DD&F Consulting Group of Little Rock, frequently helps banks with acquisitions and transactions. He is not involved in the Signature-First Bank deal, but said current branch sales are getting a 1 percent to 4 percent premium on deposits, depending on several factors.

"Our small community bank of south Arkansas has been looking for a opportunity to expand," Harrell said. "We'll be poised to do business, we're a solid and strong performing bank and we'll offer competitive rates."

First Bank does not have any plans to expand into Washington County in the immediate future, Harrell said.

A total of 18 Signature employees will transition to First Bank.  



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