KBTX | Bryan & College Station, TX | Aggieland News

Shift in Power at Local Bank

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

The oldest bank in Texas, opens its doors under new ownership.

On Friday, First National Bank of Bryan was owned by Franklin Bank until the government shut it down.
Monday, Prosperity Bank owns it.

One thing officials with the FDIC and Prosperity Bank were stressing to customers, is that the bank is strong. They say the problems Franklin Bank had come from lending outside its core area, in places like California, which unfortunately all led back to the local branches.

"We've been banking here for probably close to 30 years," Dean Williams said. "I know First National was always a solid bank and I was just real surprised to hear things weren't working out."

"To be honest it makes me real nervous," Bank Patron Johnnie Ludd said.

For longtime bank patrons like Johnnie Ludd, word about Franklin Bank closing and another bank taking over, is about as ominous as the weather is outside.

"I think it's just change as you get older," Ludd said. "Change just kind of bothers you."

But change the bank has...

Back in 2007, First National Bank sold to Franklin Bank, and now about a year-and a half later Franklin Bank is being taken over by Prosperity Bank.

Inside, it's some of those changes that are raising questions.

"I asked her about the little money I do have in the bank, and asked if there would there be any changes," Ludd said. "If I wanted to invest/re-invest she said she thought it would be sound, and that I would not lose anything."

"It's a Prosperity Bank as of today," Scott Hammer said.

Scott Hammer with the FDIC has been fielding questions from bank customers since word of the Franklin Bank's closure first spread.

"Nothing changes, the same accounts will be held open, those direct deposits will appear in their accounts as normal as they would if nothing happened," Hammer said.

It's a transition Hammer says has gone smoothly and put the bank back into good hands.

By the time Johnnie Ludd pulls away, she feels good about leaving her money in the same place-it's been in for the last 30 years.

"It seems like with this changing names, we're still safe," Ludd said. "I'm going to stay with it. It seems like my roots are here."

Officials say the only difference you may notice at the bank, is if you have a loan with Franklin Bank.

The FDIC says they have retained some of those loans and that the bank is working on getting some of those moved over to Prosperity Bank as quickly as possible.

However, if you have any questions you should contact your account officer at the bank.

Meanwhile, despite the changes at the now Prosperity Bank, bank officials say you will still see the same familiar faces inside.

"Everybody is being asked to stay on board, and they recognize we have a very solid bank and we want to retain all the folks we can," Ivan Olson with First National Bank said.

For now, the name outside the bank will remain First National Bank. However, those with Prosperity say it's something they may consider changing after the first of the year.


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