United Community to Merge 12 Banks / Bancfirst Would Be 5th Largest in State, Have 27 Offices

By Robinson, Robin | THE JOURNAL RECORD, August 5, 1988 | Go to article overview

United Community to Merge 12 Banks / Bancfirst Would Be 5th Largest in State, Have 27 Offices


Robinson, Robin, THE JOURNAL RECORD


A plan to merge the 12 existing banks owned by United Community Corp. into a newly chartered state bank to be named BancFirst was announced Thursday by David Rainbolt, chief financial officer of the holding company.

BancFirst will emerge as the fifth largest bank in the state - the largest state-chartered bank in Oklahoma - with approximately $700 million in total assets. The bank will have 27 offices in 16 cities.

Following the approval of the plan by the Oklahoma Banking Department, the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency and the holding company's shareholders, a new BancFirst office would be established in Oklahoma City, Rainbolt said.

Six of the banks to be merged now hold federal charters and six are chartered by the state.

BancFirst would not have a "headquarters" per se, Rainbolt said, but needs to have a presence in Oklahoma City to be a member of the clearinghouse, exchanging checks with other banks in the Oklahoma City area, and to provide cash management services.

The new office, to be located in the old City Center on the northwest corner of Main and Broadway in downtown Oklahoma City, would house 50 check processing employees and 20 accounting staff members, Rainbolt said.

United Community already has its accounting staff of approximately 45 people in Oklahoma City, but they would move downtown, he said.

The employees currently performing those tasks at the various banks would be retrained for customer relations and sales positions, Rainbolt said.

The estimated savings of approximately $1.1 million annually would be due to centralized and consolidated files and purchasing more than from staff reductions, Rainbolt said.

"We make our living making loans to small businesses and consumers in non-metropolitan Oklahoma, and we fully intend to continue that market strategy," Rainbolt said. "We have no desire to forge into areas we know less well."

"The reason we're not deviating from small businesses is because that's what we understand," Rainbolt said.

Bank problems have happened when the bank executives begin lending in an area that they don't understand, he said.

"We don't pretend to be expert energy lenders," Rainbolt said. "We are small business lenders."

Since the majority of business in Oklahoma is conducted by small businesses, Rainbolt said, the bank officers do not feel they are limiting themselves to an insignificant sector of the market.

The new arrangement is expected to give the current officers more time to deal with customers, he said.

"We believe," Rainbolt said, "that by centralizing the accounting and operations functions, we will create more time for our presidents and employees to do what is most desired by the customer and ultimately the most profitable for us; that is, solicit and underwrite loans and deliver a broad range of financial services. …

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