Merger to move SCBT into N.C. market

Customers of South Carolina Bank and Trust of the Piedmont soon may have access to branches in Charlotte, after a merger company officials announced Thursday.

SCBT of the Piedmont's parent company, South Carolina Bank and Trust Financial, announced Thursday that Charlotte-based TSB Financial Corp. (The Scottish Bank) will merge with the South Carolina institution, propelling SCBT into the Charlotte banking market.

"We're pretty excited about this," said Tom Camp, president of Rock Hill-based SCBT of the Piedmont. "The Charlotte region is one of the most dynamic banking areas in the nation."

The merger, which will be completed this fall, was unanimously approved by both companies, and TSB shareholders will receive SCBT stock and cash, officials said. Company officials said TSB's four branches and one loan office in the Charlotte region will continue to be operated by the same staff and under the name The Scottish Bank. Following the merger, TSB will operate as a subsidiary of SCBT Financial, retaining its current name. TSB president and CEO John Stedman Jr. will continue his role, reporting directly to Robert Hill, president and CEO of SCBT Financial.

"This is an important day for SCBT," Hill said in a press release. "We are excited about our expansion into North Carolina and see this as only the first step of building a strong community bank in Charlotte and other North Carolina communities. We are well positioned to be very competitive and believe this expansion will help drive the continued growth of our company."

Stedman said the acquisition will help TSB offer more services to its customers.

"We will now have the ability to handle much larger credit needs, which will help us with our existing and prospective commercial clients," Stedman said in a press release. "Our customers will be able to take advantage of SCBT's greater array of ancillary services such as trust, treasury management and mortgage services."

Carolinas to have 50 branches

After the merger, SCBT will operate 50 branch locations in the Carolinas. Camp said the merger increases SCBT Financial's total assets to $2.4 billion with $1.9 billion in deposits, ranking the bank among the top 10 in deposit market share in the Charlotte market.

"The beauty of this is, we now have greater resources while remaining autonomous so we can make decisions that benefit customers locally," Camp said, adding he hopes existing SCBT customers soon will be able to bank at TSB's Charlotte-area locations at SouthPark, Myers Park, Cotswold, Mint Hill and Cornelius.