Monday, June 10, 2013

CommunityOne exits consent order, completes merger

CommunityOne Bank is no longer under a consent order with federal regulators, and has completed its merger with the Bank of Granite, the bank's parent company announced Monday.

FNB United, based in Asheboro, had been working to combine the two banks since they were pushed together in a 2011 recapitalization meant to save the two struggling banks. Executives have focused on using the $310 million to clean up the balance sheet.

The combination gained speed earlier this year when Granite Falls-based Bank of Granite got out from under its consent order, which had been issued in 2009 as capital levels plunged. Regulators gave the merger final approval in May.

CommunityOne's consent order was issued in June 2010. With its termination, the bank is classified as well-capitalized, the bank said.

The merger of CommunityOne and Bank of Granite was formally completed just after midnight Saturday. Bank of Granite's branches are now operated as CommunityOne. Branches were consolidated in Boone, Cornelius, Hickory, Statesville and Wilkesboro.

"We are excited that the merger is complete," CEO Brian Simpson said in a statement. "This transaction was the last step in our goal to successfully integrate CommunityOne and Granite, and is critical to our return to profitability during the second half of the year. We are also pleased that the OCC terminated the Consent Order. This action is confirmation that we are improving our financial condition and positioning our franchise to better serve our customers throughout our footprint."

CommunityOne now has 55 branches across central and western North Carolina. Bank of Granite had two Charlotte branches, uptown and in SouthPark.