BY MICHELLE OWNBEY
The board of directors of Athens Bancorp, Inc., parent company of the Athens State Bank, and the board of directors of NBP Financial Services, parent company of the National Bank of Petersburg, have announced that the parties have signed a letter of intent outlining the terms of a consolidation of the two holding companies and banks. Subject to the parties reaching a definitive agreement and receiving regulatory and stockholder approval, the parties anticipate the consolidation would be completed mid-2018.
“It’s driven by the industry forces of higher regulatory costs of compliance, and the costs of technology are getting more expensive. We need to get bigger to take advantage of the economy of scale,” said John Leinberger, Athens State Bank president and CEO who will serve as the president and CEO of the consolidated holding company and bank. “It’s about taking advantage of the strength of both organizations and applying best practices across the board.”
Under the terms of the letter of intent, a new name will be created for the consolidated holding company and bank that will be headquartered at the current main office of the National Bank of Petersburg, located at 321 N. Sixth Street in Petersburg. The new board of directors will consist of an equal representation of both current Athens State Bank and National Bank of Petersburg directors.
Founded in 1910, Athens State Bank currently has retail locations in Athens, Petersburg and Springfield, in addition to a loan processing office in Riverton and a data center facility in Athens. The National Bank of Petersburg was created in 1948 and has two locations, both in Petersburg. The two banks have a similar amount of deposits; the FDIC listed $117,378,000 for Athens State Bank and $127,899,000 for National Bank of Petersburg for the most recent reporting period.
Leinberger noted that Athens State Bank currently offers wealth management services through ASB Wealth Management, while National Bank of Petersburg offers trust services, so once the banks are consolidated more comprehensive services will be available to all their clients.
Current stockholders of each organization are anticipated to continue to own approximately 50 percent of the consolidated holding company. No personnel layoffs are anticipated as a result of the proposed consolidation.