FirstBank Closes Merger with Northwest Georgia Bank
Veteran Local Banker Named North Georgia President
NASHVILLE (September 21, 2015) – FirstBank, the wholly owned subsidiary of First South Bancorp, Inc., and the third largest Tennessee-headquartered bank, announced today that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of Northwest Georgia Bank in Ringgold, Ga. The acquisition of Northwest Georgia Bank increases FirstBank’s assets to $2.9 billion, and also elevates FirstBank’s deposit market share from 22nd to 6th in the Chattanooga Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The existing six Northwest Georgia Bank branches, four in Hamilton County, Tenn. and two in Catoosa County, Ga., will operate under the name Northwest Georgia Bank, a Division of FirstBank, until the systems conversion is completed, which is expected in May of 2016.
FirstBank Chattanooga President Jim McKenzie will head up the four Northwest Georgia Bank branches in the Chattanooga market in addition to the two existing FirstBank branches, both of which opened in 2008.
Northwest Georgia Bank veteran, Rick Partain, has been named North Georgia President and will lead FirstBank’s North Georgia operations, with the goal of making Northwest Georgia Bank the premier choice for banking within North Georgia.
“We are fortunate to have someone with Rick’s local banking experience to provide leadership in North Georgia,” said Chris Holmes, FirstBank president and CEO. “FirstBank’s approach in all of our markets, large and small, has been to allow as many decisions as possible to be made at the local level by people who know their communities and their customers.”
Partain, a lifelong North Georgia resident, said he is looking forward to helping FirstBank grow in the region.
“FirstBank is a perfect match for us,” Partain said. “They understand our market and have a track record of giving back to the communities they serve. They have also been successful in larger markets, and they will provide us with the resources and expertise to help us meet all of the needs of the Catoosa County market and beyond. I’m really excited about being able to introduce FirstBank’s approach to community banking to our customers.”
FirstBank has again earned a coveted Five-Star Superior Rating from BauerFinancial, the nation’s best bank rating service analyzing and reporting on the financial condition of the nation’s banking industry since 1983. This means we’re one of the strongest financial institutions in the nation. Bank local at FirstBank and bank strong.