CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The 76th Annual North Carolina School of Banking kicked off Monday in Chapel Hill. Bankers from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have travelled to the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education in Chapel Hill to participate in this program dedicated to expanding the skills and abilities of middle managers and prospective managers.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — First Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFCH) recently announced that the company reclassified approximately $155 million (book value) of certain nonperforming and performing loans to loans held for sale as of June 30, 2011. The company is pursuing potential loan sale alternatives that are expected to result in the disposition of these assets prior to the calendar year end.
RALEIGH, N.C. – Thad Woodard, President & CEO of the North Carolina Bankers Association (NCBA), announced that Meghan Best was hired as Associate Counsel.
“Meghan inspires us all with knowledge of the law, her deep interest in the banking industry, and her love for every corner of North Carolina,” said Woodard. “Our members are certain to grow into reliance upon her for knowledgeable guidance on the many regulatory changes that lie ahead for the financial services industry.”
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The board of directors of BB&T Corporation (NYSE: BBT) declared the 2011 third-quarter dividend of $0.16 per common share on Tuesday. At this quarterly rate, the annual dividend is equivalent to $0.64 per common share.
The dividend will be paid Aug. 1, 2011, to shareholders of record as of July 8, 2011. BB&T has paid a dividend superior to most of its peers over the past year. It has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1903. The company has approximately 696 million shares outstanding.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — First Financial Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: FFCH) announced Wednesday that its wholly-owned subsidiary, First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Charleston (“First Federal”), has signed a purchase and assumption agreement with Liberty Savings Bank, FSB (“Liberty”) to acquire the deposits and select loans associated with Liberty’s five bank branches located in Hilton Head, South Carolina. The deposits associated with these branches totaled approximately $109.5 million as of March 31, 2011. Additionally, as part of this transaction First Federal will purchase approximately $27 million in loans.
RALEIGH – Seven North Carolina high school seniors have been awarded a total of $112,000 in scholarships by the North Carolina Bankers Association. The scholarships are awarded annually, in the amount of $4,000 each, and are renewable for three additional years if the students maintain the predetermined scholastic standard. As a result, each student’s total award will be $16,000.
WHITEVILLE, N.C. — Waccamaw Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBNK), the bank holding company for Waccamaw Bank, announced today that it received a second non-compliance notice from the NASDAQ Stock Market stating that the company was not in compliance with NASDAQ Listing Rule 5250( c )(1) because the company has not timely filed its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2011, and because the company has not timely filed its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010. The notification has no immediate effect on the listing or trading of the company’s common stock on the NASDAQ Global Market. The NASDAQ letter indicated that the company has until June 3, 2011, to submit a plan to regain compliance. If such a plan is timely submitted by the company, the NASDAQ staff can grant the company up to 180 calendar days from the due date of the Form 10-K (or until September 27, 2011) to regain compliance.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — BB&T Payment Solutions is offering a free educational webinar on online and mobile banking bill payment for small business owners and consumers.
“BB&T Bill Payment – A Better Way to Pay” is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on the BB&T Web site at www.bbt.com/paymentswebinar. Third in a series, the 12-minute, pre-recorded payments-related webinar is presented by BB&T Payment Solutions Product group Manager Jeff Hibbard.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C — BB&T Corporation (NYSE: BBT) announced today it has launched a free Android application for both smartphone and tablet users. BB&T is one of only a few U.S. banks to offer a comprehensive mobile banking consumer and small business product suite – mobile Web, text banking, and mobile applications – for a wide range of mobile devices. The app is now available for download on the Android Marketplace. BlackBerry and iPhone apps were released in 2010.
WILMINGTON, N.C. — Corning Credit Union recently opened its third branch in the greater Wilmington area. The new branch, which is located in the Fulton Station Office Plaza at the intersection of 17th Street Extension and South College Road, includes a full-service depository ATM. The branch is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Corning Credit Union serves more than 79,000 members across the United States and in many foreign countries. The credit union has three full-service branches in Wilmington and Leland. For more information, visit www.corningcu.org.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — First Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ GSM: FFCH), the holding company for First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Charleston, today reported results for the third quarter of its fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2010.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — BB&T Corporation (NYSE: BBT) today reported earnings for the second quarter of 2010. Net income available to common shareholders totaled $210 million, or $.30 per diluted common share, compared with $121 million, or $.20 per diluted common share, earned during the second quarter of 2009. These results reflect increases of 73.6% and 50.0%, respectively. Results include $38 million, or $.03 per share, of merger-related charges.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Two top executives from First Financial Holdings, Inc., the holding company for First Federal Savings & Loan, will speak at the upcoming Keefe, Bruyette & Woods 11th Annual Community Bank Investor Conference.
R. Wayne Hall, the company’s CEO, and Blaise B. Bettendorf, the company’s CFO, are scheduled to speak at 2:30 p.m. on Wed., July 28. Interested parties may access a live webcast of the presentation via the company’s website, http://www.firstfinancialholdings.com. The presentation will also be available on the company’s website through Oct. 31.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — First Financial Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ GSM: FFCH), the holding company for First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Charleston, recently reported results for the second quarter of its fiscal year ending September 30, 2010. The net loss for the quarter ended March 31, 2010 was ($19.1) million compared to net income of $3.1 million from the comparative quarter ended March 31, 2009. Basic and diluted loss per share was ($1.15) for the current quarter, compared to $0.27 income per basic and diluted share for the quarter ended March 31, 2009. Including the preferred stock dividend and related accretion, the net loss to common shareholders was ($20.0) million, or ($1.21) per diluted share, for the second quarter, compared to net income of $2.2 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, for the second quarter one year ago. Net loss and diluted loss per share for the six months ended March 31, 2010 totaled ($23.6) million or ($1.43) compared with a net loss of ($3.4) million or ($0.29) per diluted share, for the six months ended March 31, 2009.
WASHINGTON, DC – Credit card customers will benefit from sweeping new protections beginning today, February 22 as the bulk of the rules implementing the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 take effect. These new rules signal the beginning of a new era of empowerment for card customers, and cover a wide range of issues of concern to consumers and policymakers.
The streak of four straight weekly declines in mortgage rates was broken this week. According to Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey, the average conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose to 5.15 percent. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.49 discount and origination points.
The average 15-year fixed mortgage nudged higher to 4.55 percent and the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate settled at 6 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mixed, with the average 3-year ARM falling to 4.60 percent and the 5-year ARM nudging higher to 4.56 percent.
By Robert C. Seiwert
Many small business owners have been disappointed recently to learn that their bank has tightened lending standards or raised interest rates and fees, making it more difficult to get credit.
Raleigh, NC – Four credit unions with military ties have signed Bilateral Agreements with State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) to help ensure NC National Guard personnel have access to no-surcharge Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) worldwide. SECU signed agreements with Fort Bragg Federal Credit Union, Marine Federal Credit Union, Navy Federal Credit Union and Pentagon Federal Credit Union that will allow Guardsmen to utilize more than 1,600 no-surcharge ATMs. Whether serving in Guam, Japan, or stateside in locations such as Quantico, Virginia or Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Guardsmen will save as much as $3 per ATM transaction with the elimination of the surcharge fee! The move is part of SECU’s ongoing effort to assist military personnel and thank them for their continuous efforts to serve our Country. Military members at all five credit unions will also have surcharge-free access to all of SECU’s Cash Points ATM network, with over 1,000 ATM locations in North Carolina.
“The American Bankers Association supports the President’s goal of improving the lending environment for small businesses, and we appreciate the initiative to provide additional capital to community banks that volunteer to use it to increase small business lending. Small businesses are the lifeblood of their local communities and ensuring they have access to credit will help create jobs and drive economic growth. Even in this difficult economic environment, banks are continuing to lend, though both lenders and borrowers are taking a more prudent approach to credit.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — BB&T Corporation (NYSE: BBT) today reported earnings for the fourth quarter and the full year 2009. For the fourth quarter, net income totaled $194 million, or $.27 per diluted common share, compared with $307 million, or $.51 per diluted common share, earned during the fourth quarter of 2008. Results for the fourth quarter of 2009 produced annualized returns on average assets and average common shareholders’ equity of .47% and 4.52%, respectively.
WASHINGTON – The economy is on a sustainable recovery path and job growth will return this year, according to the Economic Advisory Committee of the American Bankers Association. High unemployment and restrained consumer spending, however, will be major impediments to more rapid economic growth.
“We’re on the cusp of private industry job creation, which will gain momentum throughout the year,” said Stuart Hoffman, committee chairman and chief economist, PNC Financial Services, Inc., Pittsburgh.
Raleigh, NC – State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) is encouraging its members and all North Carolinians to stand up and be counted in the United States Census 2010. The Credit Union will be utilizing various media outlets in the coming months to educate members on the Census. With more than $400 billion allocated to states and communities each year based in part on Census data, it is crucial that all North Carolinians understand the benefits of participation to the State and its citizens. Partnering with the US Department of Commerce, SECU launched its educational campaign with an article in its January 2010 Grassroots newsletter, reaching more than one million members.
Raleigh, NC – State Employees’ Credit Union members have provided $500,000 in funding from the SECU Foundation to benefit the NC Museum of History’s new Education Center. The new facility will be named the SECU Education Center in honor of the donation by Credit Union members. With the SECU Foundation’s support, the Museum will now be able to reach schools all across North Carolina, delivering educational programs and innovative learning experiences to thousands of students in a visible, state of the art learning center.
MCLEAN, VA – Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE) today announced a new offering of Structured Pass-Through Certificates (“K Certificates”), multifamily mortgage-backed securities that help provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation’s multifamily housing market. The company expects to offer approximately $1.1 billion in K Certificates (“K-005 Certificates”), which are anticipated to price on or about January 27, 2010, and settle on or about February 3, 2010.
Commercial mortgage defaults will be highly elevated in 2010 and could wipe out profits at a number of U.S. banks.
But it does not appear that this problem will morph into a true crisis that would endanger U.S. or global financial systems.
These are the key conclusions of a research study published today by SMR Research Corp. It is entitled The Commercial Mortgage Dilemma: Banking’s Next Credit Challenge.
WASHINGTON, DC – The Federal Reserve today released sweeping new rules to empower consumers as part of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009.
“These rules – the most comprehensive ever seen – herald a new era for America’s credit card customers,” said Kenneth J. Clayton, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for ABA Card Policy “Many practices that frustrated customers have been eliminated, and credit card users will now benefit from greater control and clearer terms for their accounts.”
Charleston, SC – First Financial Holdings, Inc.(NASDAQ GSM: FFCH), the holding company for First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Charleston, today announced that it expects to record a provision for loan losses between $25 million and $26 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2010, which will result in a loss for this quarter. This higher provision brings their allowance for loan loss reserve to approximately $73 million. First quarter 2010 net charge-offs are expected to be between $20 million and $21 million.
ENGELHARD, N.C. – ECB recently announced a Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) community development investment of $250,000 in support of a Veterans’ Initiative through the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation (SHCPF). By doing so, ECB becomes the first bank in North Carolina to pledge a commitment to the foundation. SHCPF ensures that 40,000 Veterans living in 160 State Veteran Nursing Homes in the U.S. are able to live out their lives in safe, secure, and enhanced quality-of-life environments free from the daily fear of crime, abuse, neglect, hostility and deprivation of personal freedom, as provided through SHCPF’s Senior Crimestoppers program.
By Robert C. Seiwert
1) Select a business credit card that fits your firm’s needs.
Consider the trade-offs when selecting a small business credit card. Some cards feature discounts on certain purchases or award points for certain airlines and hotel chains, but these rewards may come at a price: higher interest rates or annual fees. Make sure that the benefits outweigh the costs to your firm.
2) Evaluate the rates, terms and fees of competing credit card offers by asking: