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First Bank of Hampton to buy First Community.

First Community Bank of Crawford County, recently identified by federal regulators as "significantly undercapitalized," said Tuesday that it is being sold to First Bank of Hampton, pending regulatory approvals from the Arkansas State Bank Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The deal will fold First Community's operations into First Bank. Financial terms of the transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter of next year, weren't disclosed. Under the deal, Terry Carson, president of First Community, will become market president for Crawford County.

"Our bankers are looking forward to the opportunity of providing expanded financial services to our customers in Crawford and surrounding counties with the support of First Bank's ownership and management team," Carson said in a news release. Phil Foster, president and CEO of First Bank, said the expansion into western Arkansas is a great opportunity for First Bank. He called Crawford County "a very attractive market to be in."

First Community Bank reported a loss of $931,000 through the first six months of 2013. The bank recorded annual losses of $1.2 million in 2012 and $4.1 million in 2011. Equity capital is also down, falling from $10.6 million at year-end 2010 to $4.3 million as of June 30.

In July, First Community Bank entered into a consent order with the FDIC that called for improved capital and reduced concentrations of credit. Then on Oct. 25, the FDIC made public a Sept. 12 "prompt corrective action directive" that labeled the bank "significantly undercapitalized."

"The Bank's rapidly deteriorating capital condition and the inability of Bank management to return the Bank to a safe and sound condition require that the FDIC immediately take prompt corrective action concerning the Bank," the order said. The FDIC gave First Community Bank 45 days from Sept. 12 to bring its capital back up to the point considered adequate.

--George Waldon and Lance Turner
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Title Annotation:Banking
Author:Waldon, George; Turner, Lance
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Nov 4, 2013
Words:317
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