A western Tennessee banking company this summer will midwife a new bank, marking the culmination of a unique expansion strategy.
In June, Security Bancorp of Tennessee will help start the Bank of Jackson-in a branch it opened four months earlier in the growing city of Jackson.
Security, based in Halls, Tenn., will have a 41% stake in the start-up and place two directors on its nine-member board.
"We felt we needed to have a starting point, so the best approach seemed to be opening a branch and then start with our own charter," said Bill Haynes, a retired beer distributor who is organizing the bank and will be its chairman once it opens for business.
Besides demonstrating the demand for new bank charters across the country, the Security-Bank of Jackson relationship is a novel twist on the trend by community banks to crack into new markets as competition heats up in the financial services arena.
Security had its eye on Jackson because the city of 49,000, a commercial center for much of western Tennessee, does not have an independent bank.
The $250 million-asset institution decided to help a start-up get going rather than open a subsidiary, said David Hayes, president of Dyersburg- based Security Bank, a unit of the holding company.
"We did not think we had anything that differentiated us from other banks in the market; Jackson needed a hometown bank," Mr. Hayes said. "We're satisfied to make an investment that we think will pay off for our company."
The origins of the start-up stretch back to last year, when some local investors asked Security to help them organize a bank, said Mr. Hayes, who has been running the Jackson office as a branch of his bank.
Under the terms of the deal, the Bank of Jackson will purchase the branch from Security and assume its deposits.
Security will provide data processing, correspondent, and management services to the newly chartered bank, Mr. Hayes said.
Bank of Jackson, which received charter approval from the state commissioner of financial institutions on April 7, will open with between $5 million and $6 million in capital, said Jim Scott, who will be its president.
Mr. Scott has been a banker in Jackson for 25 years, most recently as a trust officer with Volunteer Bank, a subsidiary of BancorpSouth, Tupelo, Miss.
He predicts the bank will appeal to small businesses tired of dealing with big-bank red tape.
"We see it as filling a void," he said. "We like to think of ourselves as people who look behind the box, below the box, and on top of the box."