Arkansas Bank Assets Grow by 4.75 Percent

by Gwen Moritz  on Monday, May. 6, 2013 12:00 am  

Assets held by banks headquartered in Arkansas grew by 4.75 percent to $61.3 billion during 2012 even as the number of individual charters remained almost stable.

Arvest Bank, by far the largest bank based in Arkansas, passed the $13 billion point for the first time in 2012, although its assets had topped $13.8 billion at the end of September before settling to just under $13.2 billion by year-end.

For context: That $626 million asset swing in one quarter exceeded the total assets of all but 17 of the other 126 banks chartered in the state, yet it represented less than 5 percent of Arvest’s assets.

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Arvest accounted for 21.5 percent of assets held by Arkansas-based banks at the end of 2012. Arvest operates in multiple states and its assets — primarily loans — can come from any of those states or even outside its operating footprint.

But the same is true of other banks that operate or make loans to borrowers outside Arkansas.

After a couple of announced acquisitions fell through, the number of active bank charters in Arkansas was reduced by only one last year.

State Holding Co. collapsed its two charters, Eagle Bank & Trust of Little Rock and Heber Springs State Bank. Heber Springs State ranked No. 50 among Arkansas-chartered banks at the end of 2011, and Eagle Bank was No. 82, but combined they moved up to No. 33.

First Security Bank of Searcy retained the No. 2 position for the second consecutive year while growing its assets by more than 7 percent to $4.3 billion.

Centennial Bank of Conway moved up a spot to No. 3 by growing its assets — many of which are now in its ever-expanding Florida market — to $4.2 billion. It was the first time the bank operated by publicly traded Home BancShares Inc. had topped the $4 billion mark and represented asset growth of 18 percent in a single year.

Centennial pushed Bank of the Ozarks of Little Rock, also publicly traded, into the No. 4 spot. BOZ’s assets remained virtually flat, growing less than 2 percent from $3.83 billion to $3.89 billion between Dec. 31, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2012.

Jonesboro’s Liberty Bank of Arkansas held steady at No. 5 with assets of $2.8 billion, virtually unchanged from 2011.



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