By Jesse Wood
Pittsburgh-based F.N.B. Corporation announced the completion of its merger with the North Carolina-based Yadkin Financial Corporation this past week. As locals may know, Yadkin Bank acquired the local High Country Bank more than 10 years ago.
F.N.B. Corporation now has $30 billion in total assets and more than 400 locations in eight states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina, and the following metropolitan markets: Charlotte, Raleigh, Piedmont Triad, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Cleveland.
“The transformational merger with Yadkin establishes FNB as a leading regional franchise that now extends throughout the Mid-Atlantic and into the Southeastern U.S.,” Vincent J. Delie, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer for F.N.B. Corporation, said in a statement. “We are excited to welcome our new customers in North and South Carolina and to introduce them to innovation, world-class products and our strong commitment to the communities we serve.”
The company says the merger will add nearly 100 locations throughout North Carolina and upstate South Carolina to FNB’s multi-state branch network: “Leveraging its proven regional model, FNB previously announced experienced local and divisional leadership who will serve its new markets,” a release announcing the merger stated.
Shares of Yadkin no longer trade on the New York Stock Exchange. F.N.B. Corporation trades under the symbol “FNB” on the New York Stock Exchange and is included in Standard & Poor’s MidCap 400 Index with the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) Regional Banks Sub-Industry Index.
High Country Bank was envisioned over dinner at Hound Ears Club in the late ‘90s by Kenneth Wilcox, local businessman, and Harry Davis, an economist at Appalachian State University.
Within days of that dinner, a CEO was brought on board and a board of directors was formed. In a matter of months, High Country Bank secured $10 million in initial financing form selling stock, largely to local members of the community.
“And they scooped it up. We sold over $10 million dollars in stock very quickly and without brokers,” Davis told High Country Press in 2013. “We simply sold it with advertisements and by word of mouth.”
Wilcox added that the group had to stop selling shares for fear of oversubscribing early on in the process. A local bank hadn’t operated in the area for three decades prior.
The bank grew fast and soon others in the industry started to notice. In the mid-2000s Yadkin Valley Bank approached the High Country Bank board and offered to buy the company for an amount that “was in the best interest of the shareholders to sell.”
Though Yadkin Valley Bank purchased the company more than a decade ago, it wasn’t until a few years ago that the company went through a rebranding process. During that time, High Country Bank and other community banks bought out by Yadkin Valley Bank were renamed Yadkin Bank.
With the completion of the current F.N.B Corporation merger, Yadkin Banks have been renamed First National Bank. A week or so before the completion of the merger, First National Bank alerted Yadkin Bank customers of the change.
“Once the transition is complete, you will continue to enjoy business as usual, with local leadership, local decisions and access to the same locations and quality services you receive today,” Delie said.