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Last Little Rock Allied Bank Branch Set To Close

2 min read

Customers have been notified that the bank branch at 5701 Kavanaugh Blvd. in Little Rock will be closing in late January.

That should come as a surprise to approximately no one. The location was the last Little Rock branch of Allied Bank of Mulberry, which was shut down by regulators on Sept. 23 and acquired by Today’s Bank of Huntsville.

“This decision to close was purely a business decision because the old Allied did not have much success in Little Rock,” Larry Olson, CEO of Today’s Bank, told Whispers.

The branch was close to home for the Lex Golden family, which owned Allied. But it claimed fewer than 200 accounts and total deposits of about $1.1 million, and it required three full-time equivalent employees — which “is just an unprofitable situation,” Olson said.

That branch is leased, but the acquisition left Today’s with two other Little Rock branches that were closed before the bank failure. Olson is actively searching for buyers for those properties at 4900 Kavanaugh and 1022 W. Capitol Ave.

Olson has also hired veteran commercial lender David Scruggs, formerly of Summit Bank and Metropolitan National Bank, to help Today’s work through the problem assets that came with the acquisition. Scruggs, he said, has “a lot of expertise in workouts.”

Dale Cole, CEO of First Community Bank of Batesville, might be interested in one of those branches.

“We’re talking,” he confirmed.

First Community, you may know, is waiting for regulatory approval for an all-stock purchase of Little River Bancshares Inc., the holding company for Little River Bank of Lepanto in Poinsett County.

Cole expects that relatively small acquisition — $37 million in new assets for a bank that is approaching $1.17 billion — to be completed before the end of the year. No value for the acquisition has been released.

And he’s hinting at more news, but probably not another acquisition.

First Community’s typical M.O. has been to hire bankers in targeted markets and then open de novo branches. That’s how a privately-owned bank chartered in 1997 became one of the 10 largest chartered in Arkansas. (It did buy a small Missouri lender in 2008.)

If Cole is looking at branches in Little Rock, that might mean he’s got some talent picked out.

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