Other Banks Considered Buying National Bank of Arkansas

by George Waldon  on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 12:00 am  

NBA organizer Ron Tullos (circa 1988) (Photo by W. Geoffrey Hartmann)

The launch of NBA followed months of opposition from competing banks. Every Pulaski County bank fought Tullos’ effort to obtain a charter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency save one: Little Rock’s Commercial National Bank, which merged with First National Bank of Little Rock to form First Commercial Bank in 1983.

The competitive opposition was so fierce that North Little Rock businessman Richard Hall, who helped organize the bank, believed the institution would never get off the ground. Hall, who died in 1980, had vowed to eat his words on television if the group was successful in obtaining a charter. “I always swore he died just so he wouldn’t have to do that,” said his wife, Emma.

Tony Rand, the aspiring movie theater mogul, once held a 15.6 percent piece of NBA before the first of two fraud convictions.

Rand became a leading antagonist against Tullos in the hostile takeover, but he exited the ownership picture around 1990. His shares ended up with Osborne and Davidson.



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