Simmons First National Streamlines Bank Charter Structure

Simmons First National Corp. announced Wednesday that it would streamline the structure of its eight subsidiary bank charters so that only the flagship in Pine Bluff will remain a national bank.

The other seven subsidiary banks, which are currently a mix of state and national charters and Federal Reserve Bank members and nonmembers, will remain separately chartered but will all become state banks regulated by the Arkansas State Bank Department and members of the Fed.

Two of the banks are already state chartered and members of the Fed: Simmons First Bank of Searcy and Simmons First Bank of Russellville. Four are state banks that have been regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. because they have not been members of the Federal Reserve: Simmons First Bank of South Arkansas at Lake Village, Simmons First Bank of Hot Springs, Simmons First Bank of Northwest Arkansas at Rogers and Simmons First Bank of Jonesboro.

One bank, Simmons First Bank of El Dorado, will be converted from a national charter regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to a state charter.

Streamlining of multiple charters has been a trend among multi-bank holding companies over the past decade, with Arkansas holding companies like Arvest Bank Group of Bentonville and Home BancShares Inc. of Conway choosing to collapse their various charters into single state banks. Simmons has been conspicuous in that it has continued to operate so many individual charters with different regulators.