State Bank and Trust
Address: 500 Jesse Jewell Pkwy SE No. 101, Gainesville
The familiar NBG logo is gone from the Gainesville bank’s brick exterior, but officials at the new State Bank and Trust Co. taking over operations inside are hoping all changes will be for the better — down to the new sign going up soon.
State Bank “gives us much more horsepower in terms of what we’ve got now,” said Billy Glosson, State Bank market president, in an interview at the Jesse Jewell Parkway bank last week.
The transition is ongoing from Athens-based The National Bank of Georgia to the Atlanta-based State Bank, a merger that took effect Dec. 31. The conversion of operating systems is expected to be completed this month.
“Usually, when anyone talks about acquisitions or bank mergers, it’s usually a negative connotation — and I’ve seen a lot of those in my career,” said Glosson, a career banker, formerly with NBG, and a Gainesville native.
He said he believes that for NBG, the merger was a case of “marrying up,” with State Bank having $4.2 billion in assets, compared to NBG’s $375 million.
Glosson said the new arrangement especially will benefit businesses and commercial deposits.
“The sophistication of cash management products has trickled down to the smallest of small businesses,” he said. “We’ve had all those bells and whistles, but not to the extent that State Bank has.”
For example, a doctor’s office can work with the bank so that when it sends out bills to patients, payments are handled through the bank and checks are deposited to the doctor’s office.
“That takes that burden completely off the doctor’s office,” Glosson said. “They’ve got enough to deal with.”
“That’s probably what we’re most excited about here,” he said. “Where we haven’t been able to give our customers that level of service, State (Bank) can provide it. It’s a real step up.”
NBG did well issuing loans, “but we had limitations there, too,” Glosson said.
Under State Bank, the legal lending limit has increased from $6.5 million to “more than 10 times that amount,” Glosson said. “So, we can handle any size deal that comes up in that market.”
“Because State is a bigger organization, it can lend more money,” State Bank spokesman Scott Scredon said. “If there’s a business that needs to expand, in the past, NBG might not have been able to accommodate them as easily.”
“There have been huge clients here that, historically, we weren’t able to accommodate them without a partner,” Glosson said.
Another big change for NBG customers is they can obtain mortgages locally.
“Before the State Bank merger, National Bank of Georgia had ... branch offices in Athens and Gainesville and a mortgage office in Athens,” Scredon said.
“In the past, we have tried to have a full-time mortgage person here,” Glosson said. “We just haven’t been able to garner enough mortgage business to support that.”
The plan is to add mortgage officers, and some corporate officials also will have an office at the Gainesville bank.
“We don’t have any immediate plans to add other employees, other than the mortgage folks, but that’s coming too,” Glosson said. “With the additional services we can offer, we’re going to need more people.”