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Community State Bank Forms Holding Company

3 min read

Shareholders backing the smallest bank in Arkansas are forming a holding company: Power Bancshares Inc.

The corporate move is a loose end from the $2.6 million bankruptcy court sale of Bradley’s Community State Bank in February 2019.

The new owners didn’t want to have to deal with extra regulatory paperwork at the time of buying the bank, which held total assets of $17.1 million back then.

“We were in a hurry to buy this bank, so we didn’t form a holding company,” said Jeff Hobbs, president and CEO of Community State and president-to-be of Power Bancshares.

“The holding company gives us more opportunities to raise capital and makes it easier for shareholders to sell or trade stock.”

Also interrupting the formation of a holding company was the planned $5.1 million sale of Community State Bank last year to Little Rock’s Omni Bank Group Inc., led by Troy Duke.

“It just kind of fell apart,” Hobbs said. “They withdrew their application, and that deal kind of fell apart.”

Community State reported total assets of $28.7 million at year’s end.

Supported by a staff of seven, the south Arkansas bank recorded a 2022 profit of $516,000, compared with $613,000 in 2021.

In Craighead County

Batesville’s First Community Bank is expanding its presence in the largest banking market in northeast Arkansas.

The $2.4 billion-asset lender intends to open its fourth full-service branch in Jonesboro at 910 Chancery Lane in the Greensborough Village development on the north side of town.

First Community bought the 1.22-acre site at the northeast corner of Chancery Lane and U.S. 49/East Johnson Avenue for $981,422 in April 2021.

The two-story office will house the bank’s home-lending team in Jonesboro.

“There is a twofold reasoning behind the branch,” said Dale Cole, CEO of First Community. “Beyond retail banking, the main purpose is for our secondary-mortgage lending office. We will be moving them from leased space at 1823 Grant Ave.”

Construction plans are being revamped after bank officials received a low bid of $585 per SF to build the new office. Cole hopes to get that number down to at least $450 per SF and complete the new branch before year’s end.

First Community holds the third-largest share of deposits in the $4 billion-deposit Jonesboro market.

The bank’s deposit total of $374.7 million (9.32%) in Jonesboro follows Conway’s Centennial Bank at $851.5 million (21.18%) and Bank of America of Charlotte, North Carolina, at $457.6 million (11.83%).

With the addition of the new office, First Community will have the second largest branch network in Jonesboro.

Centennial Bank has six locations in the market, the biggest total among 45 banks with full-service branches in Jonesboro.

Elsewhere, First Community is tweaking its west Little Rock presence by closing its Saddle Creek branch at 8201 Ranch Blvd., Suite B4. Those operations are shifting to the 17820 Chenal Parkway office that opened in August.

The bank continues looking at possible locations for a southwest Little Rock office that would return its capital city branch count to three.

Supported by a staff of 514, First Community recorded a $26.8 million profit in 2022, compared with $23.4 million in 2021.

Mile-High Branch

Little Rock’s Encore Bank has nailed down the location for its second full-service office in Colorado. The $3.5 billion-asset lender intends to do business in Denver at 6900 E. Layton Ave., Suite 1350.

The space is in the 15-story 6900 Layton Building, a 389,000-SF mixed-use project in the Belleview Station area of south Denver.

Encore plans to transform four more loan production offices into full-service branches in Raleigh, North Carolina; Greenville, South Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; and Arlington, Texas.

The bank recorded a loss of $718,000 in the fourth quarter when its staff count stood at 303.

For the year, Encore reported a loss of nearly $2 million.

Encore is the only Arkansas lender on the ground in Colorado. 

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