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2 More Banks Join Jonesboro Market

2 min read

The banking competition continues to escalate in Jonesboro’s $3.5 billion deposit market with two new players debuting downtown.

Fayetteville’s Signature Bank of Arkansas set up shop in leased quarters at 111 E. Jackson St. The 1,700-SF office opened on Feb. 22.

The Jonesboro branch is the second east Arkansas move since its April 2007 purchase of the $140 million-asset Bank of Brinkley, a $33 million transaction.

When word started spreading in banking circles about the Jonesboro office, some observers questioned CEO Gary Head about the decision to enter such a competitive market.

“People asked us the same thing when we started in Fayetteville,” Head said of the 2004-05 formation of Signature Bank.

“Jonesboro is a good market with a lot of competition, but there’s always room for more competition in a good market,” he said.

Signature Bank recorded net income of $7.7 million in 2021.

With the addition of $851 millionasset Signature Bank, 21 banks operate full-service offices in Jonesboro. Evolve Bank & Trust of West Memphis represents No. 22.

The $788 million-asset lender is working through regulatory approval to open a full-service branch in the Franklin Building at 111 E. Huntington Ave., Suite A.

Founded in 1925 as First State Bank of Parkin, the bank was rebranded as Evolve and its headquarters moved to West Memphis in 2009.

The Jonesboro effort represents its first new full-service branch in more than a decade.

In addition to West Memphis, Evolve operates banking offices in Wynne and Parkin.

Backed by a staff of 492, the bank recorded a $12.9 million profit during 2021.

Many of those personnel are associated with supporting Evolve’s 16 loan production offices scattered across 10 states.

The list encompasses Memphis, Cordova, Covington and Franklin, Tennessee; Grand Rapids and Grand Haven, Michigan; Dallas and Carrollton, Texas; Woodstock and Jasper, Georgia; Englewood, Colorado; Chesterfield, Missouri; Cincinnati; San Juan Capistrano, California; Ridgeland, Mississippi; and East Setauket, New York.

More Jonesboro

During 2018-21, five lenders opened full-service offices in Jonesboro and two came to town via acquisition.

The roster of new branches includes the $424 million-asset Unico Bank of Mineral Point, Missouri in 2018; the $634 million-asset FNBC Bank of Ash Flat in 2019; the $1.6 billion-asset Encore Bank of Little Rock in 2019; and the $349 million-asset Armor Bank of Forrest City in 2021.

First National Bank Texas of Killeen, doing business as First Convenience Bank, arrived in Jonesboro in October 2019.

The $3.8 billion-asset lender made the move as part of a rollout of five Arkansas offices in Walmart Supercenters that included Cabot, Fayetteville, Searcy and Texarkana.

Fayetteville’s Arvest Bank entered the Jonesboro market in April 2018 with its $391 million acquisition of Little Rock’s Bear State Bank.

The $26.7 billion-asset lender is developing a new Jonesboro branch at the northeast corner of U.S. 49 and Canera Drive.

The $1.7 billion-asset Farmers & Merchants Bank of Stuttgart made the scene in Jonesboro in May 2019 with its $80.5 million purchase of Mountain Home’s Integrity Bank.

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