First Bank of Hampton Completes Acquisition

by George Waldon  on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 8:31 am  

First Bank of Hampton (Calhoun County) completed its acquisition of First Community Bank of Crawford County in Van Buren. The purchase pushes the asset total of First Bank to more than $300 million.

First Community reported total assets of $66.8 million in its final call report on Sept. 30. Its Van Buren and Alma locations are now branches of First Bank. Terry Carson, president of First Community, is now First Bank's market president for CrawfordCounty.

First Community was owned by Ashley Bancstock Co. of Crossett since 2007. The holding company also owns $138.7 million-asset First National Bank of Crossett.

The sale of First Community was preceded by federal regulators labeling the bank "significantly undercapitalized" in a prompt corrective action directive on Sept. 12, 2013. First Community lost more than $6.3 million since 2011, and its final total equity tally was $4.1 million.

First Community entered a consent order with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on July 31, 2012. The order which called for improved capital and reduced concentrations of credit.

The $261 million-asset First Bank is owned by Harrell Bancshares Inc. of Camden. The First Community deal marks the fourth northwest Arkansas move by Harrell Bancshares in the past three years.

A branch in Rogers and Siloam Springs was purchased in November 2010 from Fayetteville’s Signature Bank of Arkansas. These were added to the First Bank network, which includes four locations in Camden and a full-service office in Hampton and also in Junction City (Union County).



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