Seacoast Bank added two places of work and closed one in St. Petersburg over the weekend.
Simply days after closing on the acquisition of Fourth Street Banking Co. and Freedom Bank, Seacoast was up and operating Monday in two former Freedom places of work, at 1200 4th St. N., and at 9700 Koger Blvd.
On the similar time, Seacoast closed its workplace at 965 Central Ave. in downtown St. Petersburg.
The transition must be seamless for purchasers, mentioned Cathy Swanson, who was CEO of Freedom and now could be senior vp and Pinellas County market president for Seacoast.
Seacoast Bank indicators went up over the weekend on the former Freedom Bank at 1200 4th St. N.
The deal was finalized Friday and bank workers labored by way of the weekend to combine operations and transfer Freedom accounts to Seacoast. Freedom workers are staying on and the Seacoast workers in downtown St. Pete will work out of the previous Freedom places of work.
The stock transaction, which closed on Aug. 21, was valued at about $41.7 million. Freedom shareholders obtained 0.1275 shares of stock of Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida (Nasdaq: SBCF). Seacoast, an $8.1 billion-asset bank based mostly in Stuart, Florida, beforehand acquired two Tampa banks, GulfShore Bank and NorthStar Bank, in 2017, and expects to maintain increasing its Tampa-St. Petersburg presence, mentioned Allen Brinkman, Seacoast Bank regional president, Tampa Bay and southwest Florida.
Seacoast’s power is native decision-making and a group bank method, and Freedom’s values and its “white-glove” method to shoppers was very comparable, Brinkman mentioned.
“It was an extremely well run bank. I can give kudos to Cathy and her leadership team forhow well they operated the bank. Customers love their bankers, and it was an absolute perfect fit culturally for Seacoast and also to continue to grow our market in Tampa Bay, which we want to continue to invest in,” Brinkman mentioned.
Cathy Swanson, CEO, Freedom Bank
Freedom Bank, with $359 million in deposits and $312 million in loans, was one in all simply two group banks headquartered in St. Petersburg, and one in all 10 within the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan space. The variety of smaller banks has been shrinking, amid expertise advances, aggressive pressures and compliance prices and different regulatory mandates.
“When we started looking at the future for small community banks and our opportunities down the road, we looked at Seacoast and we thought, here’s an opportunity to be able to continue to provide tremendous service to our customers and yet keep that nice, small community bank feel,” Swanson mentioned. “We felt that was the right way for us to go to provide customers with more products, services and lending capacity, and still have a community bank that’s been around for 90 years and really cares about their customers. So it felt like an easy segue for us to do that.”
Unknown financial territory
Each banks have been lively within the Payroll Safety Program, a part of the federal Covid-19 aid funding bundle and supposed to supply an incentive for small companies to maintain staff on their payrolls.
Other than PPP, buyer demand for lending is restricted, as enterprise debtors face unknown financial territory, Swanson mentioned.
“There is still demand out there but I would not say it’s very robust or aggressive. It’s very measured and thoughtful and I think customers are getting measured and thoughtful responses back from the bank,” Brinkman mentioned.
Each Brinkman and Swanson pressured the significance of bankers listening to prospects’ wants and offering steering and recommendation.
“This is where banks set themselves apart in my opinion,” Brinkman mentioned. “Good times are easy to operate in for banks and for businesses, but when there’s hard times you start to recognize who your partners are, and I think if you’ve been able to give good advice in the past it becomes more valuable.”
Amid uncertainty, the Tampa Bay market, with a various mixture of industries, is likely one of the greatest markets in Florida from a development standpoint, Brinkman mentioned.
“We want to invest in Tampa Bay, and Pinellas is an incredible market. If you think about Pinellas and what it offers, especially from a middle-market, small and medium-size business perspective, it has an incredible amount of opportunity,” Brinkman mentioned. “We will always be looking to invest in the area.”