Print
Banking & Finance

First Carolina To Open Full-service Branch

By Jenny Callison, posted Jun 7, 2019
First Carolina Bank, which has maintained a loan production office in Wilmington since September 2017, will open a full-service branch here. The new branch will occupy about 8,500 square feet in Bradley Creek Station, a new 80,000-square-foot office building that will be built on Oleander Drive.
 
The project is by SAMM Properties Inc., led by developer Steve Anderson; First Carolina Bank is financing the project.
 
“We just closed on the construction loan, and construction will be underway very soon,” said David Rizzo, First Carolina’s Wilmington market executive. “That project will be unique and will look different.”
 
Rizzo expects that the bank will move out of its current office space in another Steve Anderson development, The Offices at Mayfaire IV, and into its new branch sometime during the first quarter of 2020.
 
Wilmington will be Rocky Mountbased First Carolina’s fourth market to serve with a range of products and services. In addition to its hometown, the bank has branches in Raleigh and in Reidsville. It has assets of about $565 million, and officials expect to reach $1 billion in 18 months, said Ron Day, president and CEO.
 
Day said the bank has about $62 million in capital, enough to “allow us to grow comfortably to $750 million, but more capital will be needed for us to reach $1 billion.”
 
First Carolina has strong relationships in the Wilmington area, Day said. Not only were some of its initial investors Wilmington residents; it has completed three capital raises involving local investors since opening its loan production office here.
 
“Two of our 10 board members live [in Wilmington] and one has a second home there,” Day said. “We pay a lot of attention to Wilmington.”
 
As it grows into new markets, First Carolina does not plan to plant its flag with a lot of brick and mortar, Day said.
 
“Our strategy is that you need one point of contact that is physical in each market, and serve that market through that location,” he said. “We have one branch in Raleigh. We just add a person when needed, not square footage.”
 
That has meant an efficient and effective use of technology, he said. “We can add functionality reasonably easily to deliver services remotely,” Day said, noting that, with just one branch in its hometown of Rocky Mount, First Carolina now has the market’s largest deposit share.
 
The bank, then owned by a Michigan bank holding company, was purchased by Day and a group of investors in 2012 and renamed First Carolina Bank. Its policies and procedures were aligned with banking regulation changes that followed the Great Recession.
 
“We are designed for today’s regulations, and we have a culture of regulatory compliance,” Day said.
 
In a story May 13, Business North Carolina wrote about the dwindling number of banks headquartered in the state. “More than ever in N.C. history, control of our banking industry resides in boardrooms in other jurisdictions,” the story stated.
 
But it cited two “nimble smaller players” that find ways to compete successfully against the big banks and online lending, money transfer and investing services. One was First Carolina Bank, which Business North Carolina said was demonstrating a path forward for small community banks.
 
The story quoted Day as saying, “We are one of the few remaining locally capitalized and growth-oriented community banks that has very experienced people serving our business and professional customers.”
 
First Carolina keeps an eye out for those “very experienced people” who can provide entrée into new markets. It’s in the process of opening a loan production office in Virginia Beach, where bank officials identified an experienced banker who wanted to join the First Carolina team.
 
“By the time we open in Virginia Beach, we will have already booked enough business there to put us in the black within the first month,” Day said.
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Jim ellis headshot 10311631058

Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Digital Agency

Jim Ellis - Signal
Dallas headshot 300x300

A Planning Process for Future Success

Dallas Romanowski - Cornerstone Business Advisors
Burrus rob headshot 300x300

Held for Ransom(ware): You AND Your Company. How NOT to be a Victim

Robert Burrus - Cameron School of Business - UNC-Wilmington

Trending News

ILM Aims To Start Parking Study Next Month

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jun 21, 2019

Interest In Solar Brightens

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jun 21, 2019

Chen Puts Final Touches On Ramen Shop

Jenny Callison - Jun 21, 2019

Roof Products Firm Back On Top

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jun 21, 2019

Wilmington To Host Disaster Preparedness Conference On Cancer Treatment

Johanna Cano - Jun 21, 2019

In The Current Issue

Info Junkie: Claire Holroyd

Find out which apps and tech are used by Skilly-do CEO and co-founder Clarie Holroyd, whose product is an online toolkit that promotes early...


Roof Products Firm Back On Top

During Hurricane Florence last year, between 8 to 10 inches of water flooded the GAF Burgaw facility, causing damage to the building, finish...


Software Firm Codes For Growth

After growing PS Solutions in Pennsylvania, founder Wayne Hippo came to Wilmington with the goal of replicating the company’s growth in the...

Book On Business

The 2019 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`
Transporting the Future - Power Breakfast 3.12.2019
Health Care Heroes 2018