‘Bank of 1889' Set to Debut In Berryville

‘Bank of 1889' Set to Debut In Berryville
(First National Bank)

First National Bank of North Arkansas intends to convert to a state bank charter and change its name to Bank of 1889. The new moniker is a nod to the Berryville bank’s establishment back on Feb. 18, 1889.

W.A. Hudspeth III, CEO of the $286 million-asset lender, said his family’s connection to the bank dates back to the beginning through his mother.

“There’s been a West in it for pretty much 130 years,” Hudspeth said.

Once completed, the move to a state charter will leave nine federally chartered banks headquartered in Arkansas.

Those nine financial institutions are First National Bank of Paragould, First National Bank of Fort Smith, Relyance Bank of Pine Bluff, Legacy National Bank of Springdale, Malvern National Bank, First National Bank of Eastern Arkansas in Forrest City, First National Bank of Lawrence County in Walnut Ridge, First National Bank of Paris and First National Bank of Izard County in Calico Rock.

Encore Trio

Little Rock’s Encore Bank is developing three new out-of-state offices that will expand its Texas franchise and take the $1.8 billion-asset lender to two new states.

Encore is working on locations in the SteelRidge Center at 2101 Old Columbiana Road, Suite 300, in Birmingham, Alabama, and the Bailey Power Plant at 450 N. Patterson Ave., Suite 200, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The SteelRidge Center is a new commercial project in Birmingham’s midtown area, and the Bailey Power Plant is a redevelopment of a former RJR Tobacco coal-fired power plant in the Innovation Quarter of Winston-Salem.

Encore will be the first Arkansas-based lender on the ground in Birmingham’s $44 billion-deposit market, home to a competitive field of 36 banks. The move will double the count of Arkansas banks in Alabama where Conway’s Centennial Bank has operated five full-service branches near the Gulf Coast since 2012.

Encore will join Little Rock’s Bank OZK in Winston-Salem’s $8.6 billion-deposit market, expanding the headcount of banks to 18. Bank OZK opened its office there in July 2019.

The proposed Encore office in the Legacy Town Center project at 7800 N. Dallas Parkway, Suite 155, in Plano, Texas, represents the bank’s fifth location in the Lone Star State.

A roster of 38 banks have locations in the $18 billion-deposit market, including one Arkansas lender: Bank OZK, which opened its Plano office in 2011.

In-State Branching

Two east Arkansas banks are expanding their intrastate footprints with full-service branch efforts.

Armor Bank of Forrest City has its sights set on Benton County and a Rogers location at 1100 S. 52nd St.

The office will be the first in northwest Arkansas for the $353 million-asset lender.

The Rogers operation will increase Armor Bank’s full-service branch network to a dozen in seven counties.

At last count, 22 banks were open for business in the $2.9 billion-deposit market.

Partners Bank of Helena-West Helena is converting the Conway loan production office it opened in January 2021 into a full-service branch.

The $361 million-asset lender’s location at 1055 Steel Ave., Suite 110, near Hendrix College will boost its branch network to eight.

Partners will be bank No. 16 to operate a full-service branch in Conway’s $2.3 billion-deposit market.