Of the five banks in Bradley County with double-digit percentages, Southern Heritage was the only bank to improve both market share of deposits and ranking, climbing from 13.83% in 2012 to 14.60% this year, and its ranking from fourth to third. Southern Heritage experienced a net gain of $13.7 million in deposits over the 12-month FDIC reporting period. The combined deposits of 13 Bradley County banks grew by $20.4 million to $1.43 billion.
Lee Stewart, Southern Heritage Bank president and CEO, cites several reasons for the locally owned bank’s upward climb in deposit share.
“We do our best to give exceptional value to our customers by providing ‘extras’ that are meaningful to individuals, families and businesses in challenging economic times,” commented Stewart. “We also are fortunate to have talented and experienced personnel who take our customers’ financial needs to heart and a Board of Directors that is active and engaged.”
In addition, the most recent Tennessee Bank Performance Report for the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2013, indicates that Southern Heritage Bank’s overall performance rating is sixth out of 180 banks in Tennessee.
Net profit for the third quarter of 2013 totals $816,000 as compared with $680,000 for the same time period in 2012 – an increase of 20%. Year-to-date net profit for 2013 is $2.4 million compared with $2.1 million for the same period in 2012 – an increase of 11.70%.
Stewart further credits Southern Heritage’s success with shared community values and the public’s increased desire to bank with locally owned institutions. Southern Heritage has the most shareholders of any local bank with over 800, most of which reside in Bradley County.
“Community banks are the most secure financial institutions in our nation,” remarked Stewart. “Southern Heritage, along with the majority of our peer banks, engages in responsible business and lending practices and focuses our efforts on supporting our customers and improving our community.”
Stewart continued, “We are no longer the new kid on the block. Cleveland area residents and business owners know us and respect our Christian values and our commitment to the community. We are sincerely honored that Bradley County has continued to respond to our bank and our people with such enthusiasm and loyalty.”
In a recent Associated Press article on Oct. 19, 2013 listed Southern Heritage Bank as one of only three banks in the Chattanooga region awarded the top 5-Star Superior rating for strength, stability and soundness by independent rating research firm BauerFinancial, Inc.
It was noted that these three banks were rated best in capital, asset quality and profitability among more than 30 banks operating in the Chattanooga region.
BauerFinancial, Inc. is the leading national bank rating service.
Southern Heritage Bank’s main office is located on Keith Street, with additional offices located in the Waterville Springs and Georgetown Road communities.
Southern Heritage has more than 60 employees and approximately $236 million in total assets.
More information on Southern Heritage Bank can be found at www.southernheritagebank.com or on the bank’s Facebook page.