Arkansas Bank Assets Grow by 4.75 Percent

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

A couple of acquisitions in Missouri in 2012 helped Simmons First National Bank of Pine Bluff, the flagship of publicly traded Simmons First National Corp., cross the $2 billion threshold for the first time. But even asset growth of 12.5 percent wasn’t enough to budge Simmons First National from sixth place.

For the first time, Marty Casteel is listed as CEO of Simmons First National Bank, a reflection of the management changes taking place as J. Thomas May prepares to retire as CEO of Simmons First National Corp. 

Small Banks

Arkansas still has a lot of banks that can only be described as small. Of 126 charters, more than a quarter (34) had assets of less than $100 million as of Dec. 31.

Most of the small banks — all but four — were profitable in 2012. And those that find niches can be quite profitable: No. 116, Riverside Bank of Sparkman, earned more than $1.5 million on assets of $55 million, and Priority Bank of Ozark, No. 95, made $1.6 million on assets of $94 million.

Merchants & Farmers Bank of Dumas, led by J. Michael Jones, surpassed the $100 million milestone in 2012 for the first time thanks to 6 percent growth in assets.

Although it’s still a long way from $100 million, Merchants & Planters Bank of Clarendon increased its assets by 56 percent last year, growing from $42 million to $65.5 million.



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