By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal
BALDWYN – Farmers and Merchants Bank is bringing its model of community banking to the lucrative Tupelo market.
The Baldwyn-based bank is opening a branch on West Main Street in Tupelo across from the Link Centre.
The building was a former BancorpSouth branch that was closed in 2011 as part of the company’s branch consolidation.
John Haynes, president and CEO of Farmers and Merchants Bank, said he hopes to open the Tupelo office Feb. 1.
“We feel like Tupelo is the center of economic development in Northeast Mississippi,” said Haynes, explaining the bank’s expansion into Tupelo.
Founded in 1941, Farmers and Merchants Bank has more than $212 million in total assets. Total deposits as of the latest reporting period of June 30, 2012 were about $175 million.
FMB has six offices – its main office Baldwyn, two in Booneville and one each in Mantachie, Marietta and Mooreville.
According to the FDIC, the bulk of all banking deposits in Lee County are in Tupelo. As of last June, 40 offices representing 11 financial institutions in the county held $1.8 billion in deposits. Tupelo’s share of that was more than $1.65 billion.
FMB will be looking to stake a share in a competitive environment led by two banks with headquarters in Tupelo – BancorpSouth and Renasant.
In addition, three other banks have entered the market since 2007: BNA Bank of New Albany, First National Bank of Oxford and First American National Bank of Iuka. And Community Bank of North Mississippi, based in Amory, has been in Tupelo since 2006; it moved into a bigger office in 2010.
Farmers & Merchants Bank already has a Lee County presence with its Mooreville location, which opened in 2008.
The Tupelo branch will employ six when it opens, and will offer consumer, home mortgage and small business loans.