BY BRIAN HAMILTON, Editor
First National Bank is in the process of merging with BankFirst, which is headquartered out of Columbus, Miss. According to FNB President Heyward Gould, the entire process of the merger will not be complete until near the end of 2019.
“The deal was scheduled to close in the first part of the second quarter, so hopefully April 2019,” Gould said. “It takes a while to integrate the system and computers, so that won’t take place until November. Signage changes and things like that won’t happen until then.”
Going forward, Gould will remain in charge of the Alabama BankFirst locations, while Griffin will remain the President & CEO over BankFirst.
BankFirst was originally chartered out of Macon, Miss., while First National Bank was originally chartered out of Aliceville, with the headquarters now in Tuscaloosa.
“At BankFirst, our goal is to continue to grow, but stay focused on our community,” BankFirst President & CEO Moak Griffin said. “We’re a community bank and we sat down and looked at partners that we could partner with out of Mississippi and Alabama and literally number one on the list was FNB of Central Alabama. We have the same philosophies, the same kind of cultures and we are both customer first.”
Griffin said that after looking at all possible benefits, both parties determined it would be better if the two banks merged with one another.
“We just feel like the two banks together are better than each bank separately,” Griffin said. “We have very similar cultures and this will allow us to continue to invest in technology and by combining our resources, we feel like we will be able to provide the very best customer service for FNB customers and BankFirst customers.”
Once the banks merge, they will be just under $1.3 billion in assets, according to Griffin. The bank will continue to look into the possibility of opening new branches in communities in Alabama, under the direction of Gould.
See complete story in the Pickens County Herald.