A Greenville-based bank is closing its headquarters and selling off its operations.
CertusBank has been struggling amid regulatory concerns and financial losses. The bank has agreements to sell its deposits, certain loans, and branches in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida to a North Carolina-based institution. The Bank of North Carolina has announced it will take over all of the bank’s branches in South Carolina. BNC’s parent corporation said it would purchase $284 million in customer deposits, roughly $210 million in loans, and seven branches.
CertusBank said customers can expect operations to continue as normal during the acquisition, which is expected to be finalized by the end of the year. “I’d like to thank our customers who have entrusted us with their relationship,” interim CEO Len Davenport said in a statement. “Our teammates have provided the highest levels of service to our customers each and every day. We are confident it will continue with BNC.”
The announcement marked a quick end for the small bank that had only emerged in the Upstate four years earlier by purchasing the assets of several failed regional banks. The bank moved its headquarters to downtown Greenville in a much-publicized 2011 announcement that was attended by Greenville Mayor Knox White and Gov. Nikki Haley. Haley had called CertusBank’s announcement “a great sign that Main Street Greenville is becoming a magnet for young people.”
But the bank was hit with a string of negative publicity beginning in 2013, reaching its peak when its three founders were fired the next year. They have since claimed in a lawsuit they were defamed as part of a conspiracy to spread false information amid allegations of mismanagement. The bank said in court filings the three failed to provide timely and accurate budgets and did not adjust when the bank’s position started to significantly weaken.
CertusBank has been under a federal consent order since November that required it meet certain benchmarks. The Greenville News reports the bank informed investors earlier this year that it would not meet at least one of those conditions.