2017-12-06 / Front Page

SRP Federal Credit Union to acquire Southern Bank

DIANA ROYAL

SRP Federal Credit Union announced last week that the company has signed an agreement to buy Southern Bank.

In a press release issued Wednesday, Nov. 29, Harry Gunsallus, president and CEO of SRP FCU, said, “We are delighted that Southern Bank has agreed to join with SRP Federal Credit Union, to help strengthen and expand our presence in the thriving CSRA region.” Gunsallus pointed out Southern Bank’s desire to provide personalized service, commending the company’s employees for improving the communities they serve and for the commitment to their customers. “This service commitment is the same model that we live by every day,” he said, “This is an exciting opportunity for both organizations, our collective customers and our dedicated teams. We believe that Southern Bank’s five branches are a perfect fit for our Georgia growth plan and there is no overlapping of existing SRP locations. Southern Bank is a healthy, well-run bank with an experienced staff that when joined with our staff, product mix and technology offerings we believe will immediately make the combined organization a major player in this market.”

Thus far, the agreement has been approved by each company’s board of directors, and the transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018, “subject to the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals or non-objections and shareholder approval,” the release said.

Preston Conner, who serves as Southern Bank’s CEO, said he had three major concerns about the acquisition and that all three have been alleviated.

“We were concerned for our employees,” Conner said Tuesday afternoon, adding that all 33 of them from the five branches in Georgia will retain their jobs. “They [SRP FCU] need them. They know the people in our community,” he said. “The company says everyone will keep their positions. They have been very fair and supportive.”

Conner also said that his other two main concerns were the stockholders and the community.

“Our stockholders will be taken care of,” he said, “and our community may benefit from this even more.”

Southern Bank, which was established in 1945 as the Bank of Sardis, has had a large face within the community for years, whether through blood drives, parades, cooking competitions, etc., and Conner said SRP FCU is very active in its current communities, including Augusta where the new Green Jackets stadium is name SRP Park. “They do a lot for their communities and may have more resources to add to what we have already done here. They are so involved, it’s almost unbelievable.”

Conner added that he is excited to join the SRP team and to see the benefits that will come with it for both employees and customers.

He said all five locations in Georgia, including the Sardis branch and two Waynesboro branches in Burke County, will remain in operation.

Once combined, the two companies are estimated to have approximately $950 million in assets.

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