Bank failures are becoming increasingly common nationwide, but it’s been 10 years since South Carolina has seen an institution go under.
In early 1999, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized Columbia’s Victory State Bank and sold the assets to a group of investors who formed South Carolina Community Bank.
For much of the past few years, SC Community Bank has operated below the radar in terms of profits and losses.
As a closely held company, it’s not required to file documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission, so tracking the institution’s ups and downs is considerably more difficult than it would be were SC Community Bank publicly traded.
However, banking’s highly regulated nature makes it is easier to keep tabs on many of the nation’s closely held banks, if one knows where to look.
By accessing data from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, which can be found through the FDIC’s website, one can obtain financial and structural information for most FDIC-insured institutions.
And according to FFIEC call reports, SC Community Bank, the only minority-owned institution in South Carolina, lost $534,000 in 2008. That compares to a $582,000 profit in 2007.
That’s significant, but pales in comparison to deficits posted by some other, albeit larger, Palmetto State community bank companies last year:
- Congaree Bancshares of Cayce reported a $3.3 million loss;
- Peoples Bancorporation of Easley lost $8.4 million;
- Greer Bancshares lost $5.4 million; and
- CommunitySouth Financial Corp. of Easley lost $3.35 million.
Interestingly, at least one organization is extremely impressed with the bank. Recently, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond featured a story on SC Community Bank and concluded with this paragraph:
“South Carolina Community Bank, the fourth-largest bank headquartered in South Carolina, has two branches Columbia, one branch in Sumter, one in Eastover and one in Orangeburg, South Carolina.”
It’s not clear where the Richmond Fed got its information, but SC Community Bank, with a little more than $80 million in assets, barely breaks the top 75 in terms of banks headquartered in South Carolina, according to FDIC data.
Despite a bumpy 2008, SC Community Bank has enjoyed solid growth over the past decade, when it had approximately $16 million in assets after its first year in operation.