Frequently Asked Questions for First Commerce Members
Q. Why are you purchasing a community bank?
A. The Citizens Bank shares our values of personal service and a commitment to strengthening their communities. Together, we underwent a comprehensive review process. Ultimately, the Boards and leadership of both organizations agreed this purchase not only benefits but also adds considerable value to the individuals and businesses served by both institutions.
Q. Why is this good for me as a First Commerce member?
A. As with everything we do, our long-term strategy is driven by our Board of Directors, who as members represent your best interest as we continue to grow with you and for you. We are a progressive organization focused on service and making banking easy, along with growth and financial strength to ensure our sustainability into the future. Growing in size adds efficiency that allows us to be more competitive, adding value to our members and further strengthening your financial cooperative. In addition, acquiring The Citizens Bank will add more conveniences for our members, particularly those in South Georgia who will be able to access additional locations in the area.
Q. Have other credit unions purchased banks?
A. Yes. There have been several in Florida in recent years.
Q. Why are you purchasing The Citizens Bank?
A. In line with the strategic vision developed by our Board of Directors, First Commerce began expanding into South Georgia seven years ago. Currently, the credit union has two financial centers in Valdosta and one in Thomasville – and the acquisition of The Citizens Bank add convenience by more than doubling our number of South Georgia locations. In the end, we believe this is a great match as we are two healthy financial institutions with community-minded philosophies.
Q. What is The Citizens Bank?
A. Established in 1943, Nashville, Georgia-based The Citizens Bank is a privately held commercial bank, state chartered and FDIC insured, and currently has approximately $250 million in assets, approximately 15,000 customers, 75 employees, and 4 locations in Nashville, Ray City, Adel, and Valdosta, Ga.
Q. Will this change affect First Commerce’s status as a not-for-profit, member-owned credit union?
A. No. There will be no change in First Commerce’s status as a credit union. As a member, you will continue to be an owner of the credit union. This partnership will simply bring more members to First Commerce, thereby further strengthening your credit union cooperative.
Q. Will First Commerce change its name?
A. No. First Commerce is a well-established and trusted financial institution in the communities we serve. We will continue to hold our name and our commitment to members to the highest standards.
Q. Is there anything I need to do?
A. No. Please continue to conduct your financial business as you always have, and we continue to be committed to keeping banking simple and being here when you need us.
Q. How does this change affect my account(s) with First Commerce?
A. This change will have no impact on your account(s) with First Commerce. Please continue to conduct your financial business as you always have. There is nothing you will need to do differently.
Q. As a member of First Commerce, how will this process impact me?
A. The buying process will in no way impact you as a member and how you do your banking with us. After the purchase and the transition are complete (which is expected to be in mid to late 2020), you will have access to additional locations in the Valdosta area.
Q. Will my deposits still be insured throughout the transition?
A. Yes. As they are today, your deposits will remain insured by the National Credit Union Administration. For more information, visit https://webapps.ncua.gov/ins/.
Q. Will I be able to use The Citizens Bank’s branches in the greater Valdosta area?
A. Yes. Once the purchase and transition are complete, which is expected to be in mid to late 2020, First Commerce will communicate with you about when our members will have access to the 4 branches of The Citizens Bank that we are purchasing, located in Nashville, Ray City, Adel, and Valdosta, Ga.
Q. What happens next?
A. The agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of both financial institutions. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2020, subject to customary closing conditions and shareholder and regulatory approvals. The final timeline will be determined by the regulatory process and based on what is in the best interest of the people and businesses served by both institutions.
THANK YOU for your membership and trusting First Commerce with the financial side of your life! Our vision is to be your financial partner for life by empowering you to enhance your financial well-being! Please contact us anytime about how we can help you with your financial needs and goals.