BOA Invests in Southern Bancorp


BOA Invests in Southern Bancorp
Darrin Williams, CEO of Southern Bancorp Inc. (Karen E. Segrave)

Did you see that Bank of America recently acquired about 5% of shares in Southern Bancorp Inc. of Little Rock, worth about $5 million?

Bank of America announced back in June that it was making a $1 billion, four-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity. As part of that undertaking, the bank said earlier this month that it acquired about 4.9% of common equity in seven minority depository institutions and community development financial institution banks as part of a $50 million commitment to those banks.

One of those CDFI banks, of course, is Southern Bancorp.

BOA’s investment is designed to help communities “through lending, housing, neighborhood revitalization, and other banking services,” BOA’s news release said. “We expect to complete more of these investments over time,” Brian Moynihan, CEO of BOA, said in the news release.

BOA didn’t say exactly how much money it invested in Southern, and Darrin Williams, Southern’s CEO, also declined to give a dollar figure. But a filing earlier this month with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission shows Southern raised $4.8 million from one investor.

Williams said the BOA investment would be used for “growth capital for both organic and M&A activity.” He said that in the last couple of years, the $1.6 billion-asset lender has raised about $40 million, and the recent amount raised was “just the latest share sales that we were a part of.”

He said that since starting the capital campaign, the bank’s assets — mainly loans — have grown about $400 million.

“Even during these times, where things are a little uncertain with COVID, we still continue to look for growth opportunities to really serve underserved communities,” Williams said.