On March 9, East Texas Bancshares, the parent company of First National Bank of Jasper and First State Bank of Livingston, announced a proposal to merge the two banks under the name First State Bank of Livingston (First State Bank). With a combined asset size of more than $700 million, the merger will position the combined bank to invest in additional resources such as technology, as well as increase operational efficiencies. The transaction is expected to be completed later this year.
First National Bank of Jasper is a full-service community bank that has served East Texas for more than 50 years. It has three locations in Jasper, Woodville and Buna. Upon completion of the merger, First National Bank of Jasper plans to keep all branches open under the First State Bank name.
“We are very excited to partner with our sister bank…and we feel strongly that our customers and communities we serve are really going to benefit from this merger,” says Stephen Ernest, president and CEO of First National Bank of Jasper. “Our ownership and leadership…are not changing. We are combining the best of our highly respected community banks to better serve our customers. Although it will be an adjustment to get used to the First State Bank name, we will work hard during this transition to ensure our customers continue to receive the personalized customer service they have come to expect over the years.”
Established in 1910 under the name Guaranty State Bank, First State Bank of Livingston also serves the East Texas region. It operates four locations: two in Livingston, one in Onalaska and one in Shepherd.
“We see this as a long-term win for both the First National Bank of Jasper and our First State Bank employees and customers since it gives us a stronger position to continue our great work in the market and take advantage of being a little larger and more efficient while continuing to deliver quality customer service,” says Robert Sebaugh, president and CEO of First State Bank of Livingston.
Upon completion of the transaction, the combined bank will be led by Sebaugh as CEO and Ernest as president. The board seats of the combined bank will be made up of the current board members from both banks.