A North Carolina-based bank has opened in Orangeburg.
First Bank opened at 1055 St. Matthews Road, in front of Orangeburg Mall, replacing the former GrandSouth Bank.
“I believe we found a great match in First Bank,” said J.B. Schwiers, CEO of the former GrandSouth and now president of the South Carolina market for First Bank.
“This is a win for all parties, including our shareholders, customers and employees. I truly believe we are better company together and the future of First Bank has never looked better,” Schwiers said.
First Bank said the transition is expected to be seamless.
GrandSouth Bank customers have been informed of the conversion and the actions they need to take via mail and email.
The transition will provide GrandSouth Bank customers with additional banking features, including personal budgeting tools, expanded financial education tools, added ATMs in certain markets (the Orangeburg branch will have an ATM), additional business banking tools, electronic banking tools and an expanded branch network throughout the Carolinas.
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Bank customers will also have more access to customer support centers outside of branch banking hours, according to First Bank.
As part of the transition, the Orangeburg branch received a fresh coat of paint a new logo.
The bank will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“First Bank will continue to keep decision-making local and with a larger lending base, businesses are able to access, envision and realize future growth,” the company said.
First Bank is retaining 94% of the GrandSouth workforce.
The opening is a part of First Bancorp’s acquisition of GrandSouth Bancorporation, the parent company of GrandSouth Bank earlier this year.
Under the merger agreement, GrandSouth’s subsidiary bank, GrandSouth Bank, merged with First Bancorp's subsidiary bank, First Bank.
First Bank will not only keep the Orangeburg branch open, but also the seven other former GrandSouth Bank branches in the state.
“We are thrilled to welcome our newest First Bank team members and we look forward to serving the GrandSouth customers,” First Bank CEO Mike Mayer said. “Growing our South Carolina footprint has been a long-term priority for us and by partnering with GrandSouth, we now serve all major markets in the Carolinas.”
The merger brings First Bank's total assets to approximately $12 billion. It has 118 branches.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, GrandSouth shareholders received 0.91 shares of First Bancorp common stock for each share of GrandSouth common and preferred stock.
Allen Fairey and Michael Delaney, both formerly of First Citizens Bank, announced in 2016 their plans to open GrandSouth at the former site of United Hospice of the Midlands.
GrandSouth Bank opened its 4,600-square-foot standalone bank in Orangeburg in May 2017.
Fairey is now the senior vice president and Delaney is the area executive of First Bank.
First Bank is the banking subsidiary of First Bancorp and is headquartered in Southern Pines, North Carolina.
As a state-chartered community bank, First Bank operates 118 bank branches in North Carolina and South Carolina.
First Bank was founded in 1935.
First Bancorp's common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol "FBNC."