Southeastern Bank Financial Corp., holding company for Augusta-based Georgia Bank & Trust and Aiken-based Southern Bank & Trust, has announced plans to merge the two banks in light of recent regulatory changes.
Ron Thigpen, the chief operating officer and executive vice president for Southeastern, said the company was previously prohibited from having Georgia Bank & Trust branches in South Carolina. Provisions in the federal Dodd-Frank Act allowed for the bank to be able to have branches in other states.
The merger will allow customers to use all 12 of the Georgia or Southern Bank & Trust branches, nine in Richmond County and three in Aiken County, which was previously not possible. It will also provide increased operating efficiency, he said.
“It provides a much higher level of convenience for our customers, and consolidates the resources of both banks,” Thigpen said.
The merger takes effect Dec. 5, he said.