Hutchinson bank looks to acquire Mount Hope bank

07/05/2012 5:00 AM

07/06/2012 7:06 AM

First National Bank of Hutchinson plans to expand into the Wichita area through its acquisition of First National Bank of Southern Kansas, based in Mount Hope.

Officials of the $550 million- asset Hutchinson bank said Thursday they hope for a September closing of the acquisition, pending approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which regulates nationally chartered banks.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal would give the Hutchinson bank branches in Andale, Mount Hope and Goddard.

Kris Doswell, the bank’s vice president of marketing and training, said the fact that the deal gives it access to the metro area was a consideration. But it wasn’t the overriding factor.

“It’s a very community-bank-focused organization,” Doswell said of the Mount Hope bank.

She said both banks have a similar culture and philosophy in terms of supporting communities in leadership and charitable capacities where they operate.

Once approved, First National will operate 10 locations in five cities, including Haven.

First National entered Haven two years ago when it acquired BankHaven, which was the Hutchinson bank’s first acquisition in its 134-year history.

According to information from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., First National of Southern Kansas has $64 million in assets.

In the first quarter of 2012, it reported a loss of $11,000 compared with net income of $15,000 in the same quarter a year ago.

Doswell said because her bank has reached the point in the acquisition process that it’s applying for regulatory approval, officials have done the due diligence and are aware of any challenges the Mount Hope bank faces.

“That wouldn’t have been a surprise,” she said.

The Hutchinson bank, on the other hand, had $1.7 million in profit in the first quarter of 2012, compared with $972,000 in profit in the first quarter of 2011.

Its pre-tax return on assets for the quarter was 1.68 percent.

Industry analysts consider an ROA of 1 percent or higher a benchmark of performance.

ROA shows how much money a bank earns for each $100 it has in assets.

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