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Robertson Bank gets bigger

Some Demopolis residents are about to change banks, but other than the name on their account statements, they probably won’t notice a thing.

Demopolis-based Robertson Banking Company announced this week that it has purchased the assets, liabilities and properties of Community Bank’s branch office.

The deal, which still needs the approval of state and federal regulators, should be finalized later this year. Once complete, customers of Community Bank will be simply become customers of Robertson Bank, after proper notification.

“Robertson Banking Company looks forward to welcoming these new customers and offering them our excellent products and services,” Robertson Bank President and CEO Al Garrett said. “It is our plan to make this a smooth transition for the customers of Community Bank.”

Robertson also took ownership of Community Bank’s Demopolis-area property, including its branch headquarters at 100 East Washington St. and 951 U.S. Highway 80.

Robertson Bank is in “growth mode,” Garrett said, and Community Bank’s Demopolis branch had a good portfolio of deposits and quality loans.

“We hope and plan to continue to offer bank products that will keep us on the forefront of the industry,” Garrett said, “and that keep our customers happy.”

Community Bank customers, he said, will be notified of the change in writing in the next few weeks.

The move was just business as usual for Community Bank, according to its CEO Stacey Mann.

“This branch sale is consistent with our strategy of divesting our offices in smaller markets and redeploying those assets into higher growth areas,” Mann said. “We are confident that Robertson Banking Company will serve the banking needs of our customers in Demopolis and we wish them well.”

Robertson Banking Company was formed in Demopolis in 1870, he said, and has been locally owned and operated for 137 years.

“Demopolis and the people of Marengo County and the surrounding area have always supported Robertson Bank,” Garrett said. “And we’ve always done what we can to support them.”

In a time when traditional southern banking companies have been absorbed by larger conglomerates – like SouthTrust’s recent transformation into Wachovia – Garrett said customers have no need to worry.

“We will remain independent; we will have our headquarters in Demopolis,” he said. “As we grow, we see no need to change that. We don’t have any intention of becoming Amsouth of Demopolis.”

Garrett and Mann both declined to disclose the amount of the transaction. Employees of Community Bank will continue to work there until regulatory approval, likely this summer.

Then they’ll have the option to apply with Robertson Bank.

– david.goodwin@demopolistimes.com