First Commerce Credit Union enters groundbreaking agreement to purchase First National Bank of Crestview

First Commerce Credit Union enters groundbreaking agreement to purchase First National Bank of Crestview

First credit union purchase of a bank in Florida will require regulatory approval

August 4, 2014 – In the first deal of its kind in the state and only the sixth in the country, First Commerce Credit Union and First National Bank of Crestview (FNBC) have entered into an agreement for First Commerce to purchase FNBC. The agreement has been approved by the boards of both financial institutions and includes the purchase of assets and assumption of liabilities. The transaction will require the approval of four state and federal regulatory agencies, which the financial institutions hope will allow them to close on the purchase by late 2014/early 2015.


“As a growing credit union looking for opportunities to expand our services in the Southeast, we are excited about this forward-thinking collaboration and feel it is a great fit all the way around,” said Cecilia Homison, CEO of First Commerce. “We look forward to welcoming First National Bank team members and customers to the First Commerce family and bringing them our model of remarkable service, expanded offerings and commitment to community.”


“As a multi-generational family bank, after much deliberation and with our customers in mind, our board members have decided to take a less active role in the banking industry,” said J.D. “Jake” Wingard Jr., Chairman of First National Bank of Crestview, who has been a member of the bank’s board of directors for more than 40 years. “We focused on finding the right financial institution partner, and First Commerce offers many unique advantages.”


“We are confident that our search led us to an established financially secure, growing credit union in our region that shares our values and will bring expanded products and services to our loyal customers,” said Dale E. Rice Jr., President and CEO of First National Bank of Crestview, who will remain with First Commerce as the Regional Executive with responsibilities including oversight of the day-to-day operations in Crestview. “When the time comes, we know that ouremployees, customers and the community as a whole will be in good hands with First Commerce.”


Established nearly 75 years ago and recently named the 2013 Credit Union of the Year by the League of Southeastern Credit Unions, First Commerce is a full-service not-for-profit credit union headquartered in Tallahassee, with 9 locations in Northwest Florida and Southwest Georgia.


With three locations, First National Bank of Crestview is a private commercial bank with nearly 10,000 customers and approximately $85 million in assets.


If approved, by the time the acquisition is complete, First Commerce’s member base is expected to grow beyond 50,000 and assets to more than $500 million.


“This agreement reflects First Commerce’s progressive approach in continuing to enhance the value of our organization to the benefit of our members,” said Dr. Jerry Osteryoung, Chairman of First Commerce.

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First Commerce has retained Michael M. Bell, Esq., of Howard & Howard for representation on this transaction, and First National Bank of Crestview has retained Jeffrey C. Gerrish and Greyson E. Tuck of Gerrish McCreary Smith, PC, Attorneys.



Established nearly 75 years ago, First Commerce Credit Union is a full-service financial institution with $410 million in assets headquartered in Tallahassee, serving more than 43,000 business and consumer members in Northwest Florida and Southwest Georgia. First Commerce has nine financial centers – seven in Tallahassee, one in Marianna, and one in Thomasville, Ga.


Business products and services include SBA & 504 loans, lines of credit, commercial mortgages, construction loans, vehicle & equipment loans, free and interest-bearing business checking, business BillPay, online banking, mobile deposit, real-time text/email account alerts, CDs, IRAs, money markets, ACH, payroll cards, and more.


Consumer products and services include free checking, free interest-bearing checking, savings, money market accounts, auto loans, mortgages including refinances, home equity loans, prepaid reloadable cards, gift cards, identity theft protection, CDs, IRAs, accounts for kids and teens, and much more. In addition, First Commerce also provides no-surcharge access to thousands of ATMs across the country through a credit union network as well as online and mobile banking, mobile deposit, and real-time text/email account alerts.


Investment services by Six Pillars Financial Advisors, a comprehensive financial services firm that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Commerce and offers financial planning, investment advisory services, estate planning, insurance and employee benefit plans.


Anyone who lives or works in the following counties can take advantage of First Commerce’s products and services: Leon, Wakulla, Gadsden, Liberty, Franklin, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Washington, Holmes, Walton, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Hamilton, Suwannee, Lafayette, Dixie, Columbia, Gilchrist, Baker, and Thomas & Lowndes counties in Georgia.


First Commerce Credit Union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and is an equal housing lender. For account disclosures or more information, visit or FirstCommerceCU.orgor call (850) 488-0035 or 1-800-533-5772.



First National Bank of Crestview was chartered 58 years ago in 1956 by a group of local businessmen. These founders gathered their savings and resources to create a hometown bank of and for the people. Over the years, First National has continued to grow and serve the people in Crestview and the surrounding areas. Recognized as the oldest locally owned independent financial institution in North Okaloosa County, First National Bank of Crestview, with almost 10,000 customers, has 3 locations and continues to offer the same hometown values and superior friendly service as it began with in 1956.