Marion-based First Community Bank of Eastern Arkansas is changing its name and broadening its market.
Effective April 1, the bank became Premier Bank of Arkansas, and expects, pending approval of the Arkansas State Bank Department, to begin soon converting a building on East Highland Drive to a full-service banking location.
Brett Crowson, Jonesboro market president and a member of the board of Premier Bank, said, “We have been here quietly” since the fourth quarter of 2018, when he opened a loan production office in downtown Jonesboro.
“I’ve been here getting organized, taking care of my [existing] customer base and getting more customers” for the $150-million asset bank that was chartered in 1998 and has operated in Crittenden County since then.
With the change of name comes also a change of the bank’s logo. The six locations in Crittenden County and the Jonesboro branch “will all have the same brand, the same logo, all be the same company,” Crowson said.
“I just feel that with those guys [board members], they wanted to grow. The only way to grow is come to Jonesboro,” the largest city in eastern Arkansas, Crowson said. The bank’s leadership has built “a great foundation” by establishing and growing the bank “all they could” in Crittenden County. The leadership’s work in growing the bank in its home county made the expansion into Jonesboro possible, he added.
Soon, Crowson said, Premier Bank will be looking for experienced associates to staff the full-service branch. “I want to have an experienced staff who will offer trusted advice” to their customers. “I want to help families live their financial lives…. We want to give them the products and services they need,” he said.
Since banks all offer similar products and services, he said, Premier plans to distinguish itself in Jonesboro’s admittedly crowded market by delivering those via “excellent customer service,” and helping customers “make the right decisions.”
“Jonesboro’s a great market, but it’s a very competitive market with a lot of great bankers here,” said Crowson, a Jonesboro native with 15 years’ experience in the banking industry. Indeed nearly 20 banks, ranging from those with large multi-state footprints to those who operate only in Arkansas, have operations in Jonesboro.
With $150 million in deposits, “We’re the little guy. There will be some challenges,” Crowson said. But, he expects the bank to grow rapidly. “’We’ve got one chance to do a real good job coming to market, and we want to do it right.”