~News Release from First Community Bank~
First Community Bancshares, Inc. chairman, president and CEO, Dale Cole, announced that its acquisition of Little River Bancshares, Inc., in Lepanto, AR has received regulatory approval and the transaction closed on Monday, December 19. Also, on December 19th First Community Bank and Little River Bank merged to become one community bank.
The conversion of Little River Bank to First Community Bank’s core operating systems will take place on March 27, 2017. Except for the name change, it will be business as usual for Lepanto customers until the conversion is complete.
It was first announced in October that Little River Bancshares, Inc. had entered into an agreement to sell 100 percent of its stock to First Community Bancshares, Inc. of Batesville, AR.
After entering the agreement to acquire the bank, it was decided to merge the two banks so that Little River Bank customers could benefit from the expanded products and services of First Community Bank.
Founded in 1919 as the Bank of Keiser, the bank moved to Lepanto in 1934, and its name was changed to Little River Bank. Little River Bank has one location at 202 Greenwood Avenue (Main Street) in Lepanto. Lepanto is located in eastern Poinsett County at the intersection of Arkansas State Highways 14/140 and 135. As of June 30, 2016, Little River Bank reported assets of $33.3 million.
“We recognized the opportunity for expansion into an area of the state that extends our current footprint,” said Cole. “We currently operate three locations in Craighead County and continue to grow within that market. We are so excited to bring our unique style of community banking into adjoining Poinsett County.”
Customers of the former Little River Bank should continue to use their existing Little River checks and debit cards and conduct all business at the Lepanto location. This also means that current customers of First Community Bank should wait before attempting to do their banking at the former Little River Bank location until the conversion is complete. Upon conversion, a nineteen-branch network with locations in Arkansas and Missouri will expand banking convenience for the newly acquired customers.
First Community Bank will send notifications to former Little River Bank customers with details about the account and branch conversion prior to March.