First Community Corp. set to open new Greenville office in 2019

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A community bank based in the Midlands is expanding its presence in the Upstate market.

Lexington-based First Community Corp., the parent company of First Community Bank, has received approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and South Carolina Board of Financial Institutions to open a full-service banking office in downtown Greenville, according to a news release.

The 7,000-square-foot office, which will be located at 105 N. Spring St., will allow First Community to better serve its Upstate clientele by offering a wide range of services, including traditional deposits and loans, residential mortgage lending, and financial planning, said Michael Crapps, president and CEO of First Community.

Opening the new office in downtown will also allow First Community to add at least five employees to its Upstate team, according to Crapps. The hiring process is expected to begin later this year. Those who are interested can apply at bit.ly/2LDzZ9u.

First Community plans to invest at least $700,000 to renovate the existing office space at North Spring Street, according to Crapps. The bank is on track to begin renovations later this month, with the new office opening by the first quarter of 2019.

Crapps said the opening of a new banking office in downtown is a “natural next step” for First Community as it continues to focus on the growth of its Upstate franchise, which began two years ago when the bank opened a loan production office in Greenville.

“The staged progression of our Upstate strategy started with the hiring of a great team of bankers in Greenville in March of 2016 to activate our loan production office,” Crapps said in a statement. “The team, including market president Coleman Kirven, Trey Werner, and David Ramseur, had an extremely successful first year and exceeded our expectations for loan portfolio growth.”

He added that First Community’s loan production office in Greenville represented about 35 percent of the company’s loan growth in the first quarter of 2018.

“The Greenville market is now our third largest office in terms of total loans on the books,” Crapps said.

First Community’s Upstate presence also got a boost last year when the company agreed to acquire Easley-based Cornerstone Bancorp., the holding company of Cornerstone National Bank, for approximately $27 million in cash and stock, Crapps said.

Today, the combined company has more than $1 billion in assets and $914 million in deposits and customer cash management accounts. It now also has 15 full-service banking offices throughout South Carolina and Georgia.

Crapps said First Community has experienced rapid growth since its acquisition of Cornerstone closed in December 2017.

The bank last week reported a net income of $3 million for the second quarter of 2018 as compared to $1.7 million during the same period of 2017, an 80.3 percent increase.

First Community also posted a revenue of $12.7 million during the second quarter of 2018, with a revenue net of interest expense of $11.9 million.

“We are extremely pleased with our performance during the second quarter of 2018, which resulted in record earnings for the company,” Crapps said in a statement. “Led by continued strong loan and pure deposit growth, we continue to experience net interest margin expansion and enjoy excellent credit quality. Momentum is strong as we move into the second half of 2018.”

In addition to opening an office in downtown Greenville, First Community plans to open a full-service banking office in Evans, Ga., according to Crapps. The new office is expected to open in the second quarter of 2019.

For more information, visit www.firstcommunitysc.com.

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