East Arkansas lender set to enter Northwest Arkansas market

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,012 views 

A new entrant is making plans to compete for business in Washington County’s banking market.

Partners Bank, an Arkansas bank headquartered in Helena, will open a full-service branch office in the Johnson Square development on Johnson Mill Boulevard in Johnson. The new branch is pending approval of an application on file with the state bank department.

Micah Thompson will lead Partners Bank’s market entry as Northwest Arkansas president and chief credit officer. Thompson has 15 years of experience working in the region’s banking market, most recently as senior vice president with Chambers Bank. He has also worked for Arvest Bank, Signature Bank of Arkansas and United Bank.

Thompson’s career with Chambers Bank coincided with the tenure of John O. Moore. Moore headed up the Danville-based bank’s Northwest Arkansas division until the fall of 2018 when he resigned to become president and CEO of Partners Bank in his hometown of Helena.

“We always planned on having a presence in Northwest Arkansas, but we needed to re-energize the bank in its current markets first,” Moore told the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. “For some time now, we have been working on identifying the ideal leader and location in Northwest Arkansas that will best reflect who we are.”

Partners Bank rebranded from Helena National Bank a couple of years ago and had assets of about $243 million as of March 31, according to the FDIC. The company has six full-service branches in Helena (2), Marion, Marvel, West Helena and Wynne.

Moore described the Partners Bank version of community banking like this: a blend between the tradition of small-town values and the sophistication of today’s modern banking needs and expectations.

There are 25 banks that hold deposits in Washington County, according to the most updated information available from the FDIC’s Summary of Deposits report. That does not include Sterling Bank. The $1.25 billion-asset lender headquartered in Poplar Bluff, Mo., opened a loan production office in Fayetteville on June 1.

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