First Commerce CU to purchase Fla. bank

August 5, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (8/6/14)--A Tallahassee, Fla.-based credit union has entered into an agreement to purchase a community bank, the first transaction of its kind in Florida and the sixth in the United States.

First Commerce CU, with $401 million in assets, and First National Bank of Crestview (Fla.) recently reached a deal that will transfer operation of the bank and its three branches, in addition to their would-be-members and assets, to the credit union.

"Geographically, this provides an opportunity for more diversity for us, which continues to help our institution grow," Cecilia Homison, First Commerce CEO, told News Now.

"I find it very humbling to be selected as a partner," Homison added. "As a financial cooperative with really strong ties to our community and member service, that really resonated with leadership at that institution."

The agreement will increase First Commerce's membership to about 50,000 members from 40,000 and will add $85 million in assets to the credit union's portfolio.

Four state and federal regulatory bodies must sign off on the transaction before the deal can be completed.

"We are confident that our search led us to an established, financially secure, growing credit union in our region that shares our values and will bring expanded products and services to our loyal customers," said Dale E. Rice Jr., First National president/CEO. "We know that our employees, customers and the community as a whole will be in good hands with First Commerce."

First Commerce, founded nearly 75 years ago, currently operates nine locations out of northwest Florida and southwest Georgia.