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S.C. Community Bank removed from FDIC list

Banking & Finance
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S.C. Community Bank has been removed from the FDIC’s troubled bank list as the organization continues a turnaround.

At the close of the second quarter of 2018, the bank’s total assets have increased from a low of $47.8 million in September 2017 to $56.3 million as of June 30, according to a news release. Net loans also increased during the same time period, from $28.8 million to $32.9 million, as did deposits ($41.5 million to $50.5 million). Non-performing assets decreased from a high of 12% in September 2015 to 2.3% as of June 30.

“Our second-quarter financial results demonstrate progress toward sustained profitability we expect to reach by the end of 2018,” bank president and CEO Dominik Mjartan said.

Dominik Mjartan, president and CEO of S.C. Community Bank, in his new office at 1241 Main St. The bank will be renamed Optus Bank later this year. (Photo/Melinda Waldrop)Since September 2017, the bank has seen more than $22 million in new deposits and more than $10 million in new loans, helping its interest income increase from $496,000 in the third quarter of 2017 to $637,000 in the second quarter of 2018.

In the first six months of 2018, the bank lost $132,000 — after losing $1.6 million in 2017, according to its statement.

In March, the bank was removed from the FDIC’s troubled bank list. A letter from the regional director of the FDIC dated March 8 informed the bank that a consent order issued on April 28, 2010, had been terminated.

“It was a wonderful moment,” Mjartan told the Columbia Regional Business Report. “It totally changed the picture of the bank, internally primarily. Folks feel like we can now move forward.”

The bank announced a pending name change to Optus Bank in a June letter to shareholders. The name change will become official later this year. The bank is also relocating its offices from the corner of Sumter and Taylor streets to 1241 Main St., closer to the heart of downtown Columbia, and launching a new website, www.optus.bank.

The bank’s roots date back to the 1921 formation of Victory Savings Bank, the first black-owned bank in South Carolina. After running into financial trouble in 1999, the bank re-emerged as S.C. Community Bank, which struggled with problem loans during the economic crisis of 2008.

“I’m grateful for the unwavering commitment of our customers, team, board and shareholders to build SCCB into a vibrant organization that transforms opportunities into wealth for hard-working people in South Carolina and beyond,” Mjartan said. “The bank’s problem loans once represented more than 300% of capital and reserves. We are now below 30% and will be at or below peer level by the end of 2018.”

Mjartan came to S.C. Community Bank in September 2017 after 12 years as a senior executive at Arkansas-based Southern Bancorp. He invested his own money in the organization, one of 23 majority African-American owned banks in the U.S.

“We’ve turned a corner,” he said. “The growth has been not as fast as we want it to, but some of that has been deliberate. We want to make sure we don’t disappoint people and that we meet their needs.”

Contact Melinda Waldrop at 803-726-7542.

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