Magazine article American Banker

Certus Set to Wind Down Operations by Selling, Closing All Branches

Magazine article American Banker

Certus Set to Wind Down Operations by Selling, Closing All Branches

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Davis

CertusBank in Greenville, S.C., is setting the stage to liquidate itself after agreeing to sell or close all of its remaining branches.

The $1.4 billion-asset bank said in a press release Monday that it will sell most of its Georgia and Florida branches to Community & Southern Bank in Atlanta. Community & Southern said in a separate release that it will gain $764 million in deposits and $230 million in loans, along with entry into Jacksonville, Fla., and the Georgia cities of Columbus and Macon.

Certus will also sell branches, deposits and loans in the Georgia cities of Savannah and Rincon to Queensborough National Bank and Trust in Louisville, Ga. A branch in Warner Robins, Ga., along with $62 million in deposits and $3 million in loans, will be sold to Morris Bank in Dublin, Ga.

BNC Bancorp in High Point, N.C., agreed to buy seven branches, along with $284 million in deposits and $210 million in loans, in South Carolina. The $4.2 billion-asset BNC said in a separate release and investor presentation that it will pay a premium of $7.8 million, or 2.75%, for the deposits.

Certus said it will close its branches in Ponte Vedra, Fla., and the South Carolina cities of Columbia and Charleston. The company will also shutter its branch in downtown Greenville, where the bank also had a nearly $1 million art collection, an office suite with 300,000 pennies affixed to the ceiling, and a 13-foot touch-screen "media wall."

The branch sales are expected to close in the third and fourth quarters.

"I'd like to thank our customers who have entrusted us with their relationship," Len Davenport, who recently became Certus' president and chief executive after John Poelker resigned due to medical issues, said in BNC's release. "Our teammates have provided the highest levels of service to our customers each and every day. …

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