Southern Bank expands market share


Staff Writer

Sunday, December 9, 2018

A more than 100 year-old bank with 54 branches in the state continues to have a growing presence in the Twin Counties.

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s deposit market share report, Southern Bank and Trust Co. was ranked the highest in deposits and market share within Nash and Edgecombe counties. With 11 branches across the Twin Counties, FDIC reported at the end of June that Southern Bank had 457,985 deposits with a 21 percent market share.

“What we’re happy with and important to note is our growth is organic growth,” said Wayne Murphy, senior president and area executive of Southern Bank. “That means our deposits are coming from local people and businesses that have put their trust in Southern Bank and made their deposits with us. It’s not from outside sources like brokered certificates of deposits coming from out of this area or from out of the state.”

Murphy said the success of Southern Bank being the fastest growing bank in the Twin Counties comes from its long-standing and continuing commitment in Nash and Edgecombe counties. The bank employs more than 100 people in its local branches.

“That’s more than 100 people that help supports the tax base, and we’re paying our property taxes,” Murphy said. “But our commitment extends beyond the brick and mortar of our branch network. We also support local efforts and causes through giving back financially. In addition, our community bankers give their time and energy through our involvement with various local community and civic organizations.”

Southern Bank has expanded its footprint in the area with a more than $7 million investment in downtown Rocky Mount, where it opened two new buildings last year.

The bank’s business center includes its mortgage, customer service and information technology departments, while its other building consists of one of its branches on the first floor and Southern Bank’s commercial team of bankers that cover the Nash and Edgecombe markets on the second floor, Murphy said.

“This demonstrates our active support of this market, and we looked long-term in terms of where we wanted to expand,” he said. “We felt downtown Rocky Mount and especially our focus on growth in this market that we wanted to make a statement. You drive down the road and you see structures of where there used to be banks in previous locations. We didn’t want the area — especially the Twin Counties’ market — to feel we were abandoning it. We feel like building these two structures shows our presence and commitment, which isn’t just lip service.”

Southern Bank is encouraged by the optimism happening in the Twin Counties, with major economic projects in progress such as Chinese manufacturer Triangle Tire creating 800 permanent jobs through a $580 million in investment coming to the Kingsboro megasite in Edgecombe County. Carolinas Gateway Partnership officials have said in the past that the project could potentially be bigger down the road. 

While Southern Bank might not be able to bank directly with a Triangle Tire, there could be auxiliary business opportunities coming from it, Murphy said.

“The people that will be employed by them, we can help them with mortgages, home equity loans and personal banking relationships of that nature,” he said. “We’re excited about the growth opportunities in this area. We look forward to supporting that growth through a wide array of financial products and services along with a great team of bankers ready and eager to help.”