Finance News

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May 14, 2010

Southwest Community Bank, Springfield, acquired by Simmons First National Bank, Pine Bluff, Ark.

Jefferson City, Mo. - The Missouri Division of Finance today accepted possession of Southwest Community Bank, Springfield, and appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) as receiver. To protect depositors, an agreement to acquire the bank was reached with Simmons First National Bank, a $1.7 billion national bank headquartered in Pine Bluff, Ark.

Depositors of Southwest Community Bank automatically become depositors of Simmons First National Bank, and continue to have full access to their money by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards. Checks drawn on the bank will continue to be processed. Loan customers should continue to make their payments as usual.

Depositors will continue to be insured by the FDIC. Drive-up services at the bank's sole location, 3333 E. Battlefield, Springfield, will resume on Saturday at 9 a.m. and lobby services will resume on Monday at 9 a.m.

There will be no interruption of services for customers of the former Southwest Community Bank, said Richard J. Weaver, commissioner of the Division of Finance. The demise of this bank is the result of aggressive, imprudent lending decisions made by prior management. Many of these loans were in high-risk commercial real estate and development projects that proved uncollectible.

Losses are more than the bank can support and management acknowledges that failure of the bank is inevitable. The bank has operated under close regulatory scrutiny since early 2009, Weaver said.

Attempts to sell the bank or procure additional capital were not successful and, as a result, the bank's board of directors voted to turn the bank over to the Missouri Division of Finance as allowed by state law, Weaver said. Assets of the bank totaled $101 million as of March 31.

 Customers who have questions about today's transaction can call the FDIC toll-free at 800-895-0643. The phone number will be operational this evening until 9; on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.; and thereafter from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

About the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration

The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) is responsible for consumer protection through the regulation of financial industries and professionals. The department's seven divisions work to enforce state regulations both efficiently and effectively while encouraging a competitive environment for industries and professions to ensure consumers have access to quality products.

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