For Immediate Release
ARKADELPHIA, ARK – Southern Bancorp, Inc., a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and holding company for Southern Bancorp Bank, today announced that it has closed on its acquisition of FCB Financial Services, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Premier Bank of Arkansas, a $213 million asset bank with three branches operating in Marion, West Memphis, and Jonesboro, Arkansas. All three Premier locations will continue operating under the Premier Bank brand until early 2023 when a full conversion will take place.
“We are excited to welcome Premier Bank’s outstanding team to Southern Bancorp,” said Southern Bancorp Inc. CEO Darrin Williams. “Not only are Premier Bank’s markets closely aligned with us geographically, with many existing Southern branches located nearby, but they are also mission-aligned, with numerous opportunities in each community to introduce our unique brand of development banking to new and existing customers. We call it being ‘wealth builders for everyone,’ and we’re thrilled to introduce it in these new markets in 2023.”
As one of America’s oldest and largest community development banks, Southern Bancorp blends traditional banking products and financial development services such as credit and housing counseling and financial education to give everyone in the community access to the tools needed to build wealth.
In addition to Premier Bank, the “Southern” organization consists of three separate CDFIs working together for a common mission, including Southern Bancorp, Inc., a bank holding company; Southern Bancorp Bank, a $2.3 billion asset community development bank, and Southern Bancorp Community Partners, a 501(c)(3) development finance and lending organization. Southern’s customers and communities are served by all three entities to ensure that wherever one is on the economic ladder, they have the tools to succeed.
“We are excited to join the Southern Bancorp team and thrilled to begin preparations for introducing our customers and communities to a wide new range of tools to support their financial journey,” said Donny Underwood, Premier Bank CEO. “For nearly 25 years, we have proudly served our markets by prioritizing customer service and experience, and we are beyond delighted to merge that commitment with Southern Bancorp’s mission to be wealth builders for everyone.”
Underwood will continue serving as Premier Bank’s CEO until the full conversion takes place in early 2023, at which time he will assume a new leadership role within Southern Bancorp. Customers will begin receiving communications about the conversion later this year, allowing ample time for information about Southern Bancorp’s products, services, and procedures. In the meantime, Premier Bank customers may visit Southern Bancorp’s conversion website to learn more at www.BankSouthern.com/Premier.
Stephens Inc. served as financial advisor and Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP served as legal advisor to Southern Bancorp in connection with the transaction. DD&F Consulting Group served as financial advisor to FCB Financial Services, Inc. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.
Founded in 1986 by some of the nation’s leading political, business, and philanthropic leaders with an initial investment of $10 million, Southern Bancorp, Inc., along with its development partners – Southern Bancorp Bank, Southern Bancorp Community Partners, and Premier Bank of Arkansas – has grown into a $2.3 billion asset organization with 54 locations serving 65,000 customers across two states with a unique array of financial products and services designed to help individuals at all stages of life’s financial journey – from teaching kids how to save to helping entrepreneurs and families realize the American Dream. Southern Bancorp is a certified Community Development Financial Institution, certified B-Corp, and proud member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. Learn more at www.BankSouthern.com and www.SouthernPartners.org.