Two South Carolina financial institutions – Columbia-based SCBT Financial Corp. and Charleston-based First Financial Holdings Inc. – have announced a merger that will created the fifth-largest bank in the state and a major new banking force in the Southeast.
The Charleston Regional Business Journal reports that the merged bank would boast more than $8.3 billion in assets and 148 branches across South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. It would also hold $6.1 billion in total loans and be able to generate more than $2 billion in mortgage loans.
The new entity would be known as First Financial Holdings. Wayne Hall, president and CEO of First Financial, would serve as president of the merged company, while SCBT President and CEO Robert Hill Jr. would become chairman.
‘We believe it's going to create a dominant Southeast institution,’ says Hall. ‘We believe we will be able to leverage our power, our capital and the synergies around.’
The merger is expected to close in the third quarter and will be completed sometime in 2014.