The First, A National Banking Association
In 1995, a group of friends got together on a back porch near Hattiesburg, MS and discussed the possibility of creating a bank that would not only take care of financial needs, but also take care of the individual as a whole - leading up to what we know now as The First. Now, that dream has grown from a back porch to communities all over South Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Because The First is more than a bank, it continuously allows friends to build relationships while taking care of business one customer at a time!
The First is committed to giving back to the communities where we serve to ensure a brighter future for everyone. We strive both as a company and as individuals to improve the quality of life in our communities. The First delivers banking and credit needs to each community, including low- and moderate-income individuals. This is achieved through grants and initiatives, affordable housing, community development lending, investments, and our employees who volunteer their time and talents in each of the communities we serve.
The past 12 months were interesting for publicly traded companies, including those based in Mississippi. Nine of the top public companies on the Mississippi Business Journal's 15 top public companies list are banking institutions. M. Ray (Hoppy) Cole, president/CEO of The First, A National Banking Association headquartered in Hattiesburg, is also positive. “Our company performed extremely well during 2020, which is a testament to the commitment by our team members to focusing on client service and being nimble; that is being able to change quickly to maintain our high level of service,” he said. “We had a good year with solid asset growth, significantly improved earnings and strong credit quality metrics.”
The West 30's Redemption Company was organized only three years ago, but it's already made a lasting impression on Covington. So when Bryan Burns, the group's founder, said a recent grant to the organization is the "single most impactful thing to ever happen to us," it's reason to take notice. The West 30's Redemption Company announced on Nov. 22 it received a $120,000 grant from The First, a National Banking Association, as well as the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas. The event was marked by a ceremonial ribbon cutting held Nov. 22 at the Northshore Community Foundation offices in downtown Covington. Burns has reason to highlight the significance of the grant. He said within the next 12-15 months, the money will make it possible for 12 lower-income families to make down payments on loans to purchase their first homes.
First Bancshares, Inc. announces their planned merger with FMB Banking Corporation in which First Bancshares will acquire 100% of the common stock of FMB. The new combined Company will hold about $3.0 billion in total assets, $2.5 billion in total deposits, $2.0 billion in total loans, and 67 locations. This move will expand The First's presence in the Florida panhandle, southern Georgia, and the Tallahassee market.