First Home Bank this month took on a new name, reflecting changes prompted by a complicated acquisition in 2017.
The bank — owned by First Bancshares Inc. (OTCQB: FBSI) — is now operating as Stockmens Bank, said Tyrell Molleck, vice president in Springfield.
“It didn’t really conjure an image of anything to anybody,” Molleck said of the First Home Bank name. “It just made sense to change the name — get away from the home side of it because while that’s part of our business, it isn’t a huge part of our business.”
First Bancshares in 2017 purchased Colorado Springs-based Stockmens Bank in an all-stock transaction. First Home Bank merged into Stockmens Bank as part of the deal. Also, Stockmens Bank CEO Rob Alexander became the largest shareholder of the combined company and took on the top role at First Bancshares, Molleck said. Additionally, First Bancshares’ headquarters moved to Colorado Springs from Mountain Grove.
“Since October 2017, we have operated as First Home Bank, a division of Stockmens Bank,” said Molleck, who works out of the company’s sole Springfield branch at 1465 E. Sunshine St. “It was hard to explain. There really was not a ton of upside to keeping it as two separate names.
“Stockmens Bank is a better brand for us to move forward with.”
First Bancshares now operates eight Missouri branches, including locations in Springfield, Marshfield, Sparta, Forsyth, Ava and Crane, as well as a branch each in Colorado Springs and Bartley, Nebraska.
Molleck said First Bancshares has some $350 million in assets, up from $250 million prior to the Stockmens Bank deal. As of June 30, 2018, Stockmens Bank held $49.5 million in deposits in the Springfield metropolitan statistical area, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data. That equated to nearly 0.5 percent of the market share.
The switch to the Stockmens Bank name became official April 1, Molleck said. A Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled April 11, he said.
First Bancshares reported 2018 earnings of nearly $3 million, a swing from a loss of $563,000 in 2017, according to a February news release.
First Bancshares’s over-the-counter shares closed late last week at $14.90.
First Home Bank's roots date back to 1911, when the company was called Mountain Grove Building and Loan Association. It took on the First Home Bank name in 2014, according to the company’s website.
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