Simmons First National Corp. (SFNC) in Pine Bluff, Ark., plans to consolidate its seven banks under one charter.

The subsidiaries of the $4.4 billion-asset company will be merged into Simmons First National Bank by August 2014, according to a Wednesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All seven of the company's banks are based in Arkansas.

"The elimination of the separate bank charters will increase the company's efficiency and assist the company in more effectively meeting the increased regulatory burden currently facing banking institutions," George Makris, Jr., Simmons' chairman and chief executive, said in the filing. "There are many operational functions that we currently perform separately for each of our seven banks, after the consolidation these tasks will only need to be performed once."

All Simmons subsidiaries will continue to offer the same banking services from the same locations, according to the filing.

Reports circulated in February that serial acquirer Simmons may be angling to buy Delta Trust & Banking in Little Rock, Ark. The company paid $53.6 million for Little Rock lender Metropolitan National Bank in a 2013 bankruptcy auction and purchased two failed Missouri banks — Truman Bank in St. Louis and Excel Bank in Sedalia — in 2012.

Simmons announced in January plans to close 27 branches in the aftermath of its Metropolitan acquisition.

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