Select Bank and Trust purchases three local Entegra Bank branches

The Entegra Bank branches are slated to be sold prior to the merger with First Citizens. Until the merger, the branches will be open and operating. The agreement calls for the branches to continue to operate as banks even after the merger, but under a different name. photo by Vickie Carpenter

Brittney Lofthouse – Contributing Writer

In early December, Entegra Bank and First Citizens Bank announced that before the Department of Justice would approve the two bank’s merger, three local Entegra Bank branches would have to be sold. In a follow up announcement just before Christmas, the two entities announced that Select Bank and Trust would be purchasing the three branches which include the Highlands location, the Entegra branch located near the Holly Springs Plaza in Franklin, and the Sylva location. 

Select Bank was founded in 2000 and operates in 18 locations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

As part of the agreement, Select Bank will assume approximately $180 million in deposits and will purchase approximately $110 million in loans.

“Today’s agreement with Select Bank represents a step forward in the merger with Entegra. Select Bank is known for its longstanding commitment to customer service. We’ll work together to ensure a smooth transition,” said Frank Holding, chairman and chief executive officer of First Citizens Bank.

“We’re excited about extending our presence to these Western North Carolina communities and look forward to welcoming our new customers and employees to our bank in the days ahead,” said William L. “Bill” Hedgepeth II, president and chief executive officer of Select Bank.

“Select Bank shares the same values and philosophies of our two companies. We believe Select Bank will be a great fit for these customers and communities,” said Roger Plemens, president and chief executive officer of Entegra Bank.

The transaction must first pass through state and federal regulatory approvals, and it is expected to close during the second quarter of 2020. It is also contingent upon the completion of the merger between Entegra and First Citizens Bank.

Once the merger of First Citizens Bank and Entegra Bank takes place, Entegra Bank offices will initially operate as Entegra Bank, a division of First Citizens Bank. Customer accounts at the 15 Entegra Bank locations will be converted to First Citizens Bank’s systems and operations later in 2020.

Also, on the date of merger, First Citizens Bank will temporarily acquire the three local divested branches in the merger with Entegra Bank, but those accounts ultimately will not be converted to First Citizens Bank’s systems.  Select Bank will acquire and convert customer accounts at the three local divested Entegra Bank locations.