December 16, 2013

Chickasha bank acquisition moves forward

James Bright, Managing Editor,
The Express-Star


A new board of directors has been announced for the Chickasha Bank and Trust Company following its acquisition by Lawton based BOE Bancshares earlier this year. 

The Lawton based holding company also owns Liberty National Bank.

Liberty National Bank Chief Executive Officer Rick Walker said the new board membership includes officers and investors representing both southwest Oklahoma financial institutions.

"Liberty National Bank and Chickasha Bank & Trust Co. have combined assets of approximately $440 million," said Walker. "The banks are presently operating under separate charters until the process of combining both banks' operations is completed sometime in 2014."

The new seven-member board consists of Walker, Clayton L. "Buddy" Green Jr., President of BOE Bancshares and Chairman of Liberty National Bank, Lindel Pettigrew, President and CEO of Chickasha  Bank & Trust Co. Eugene Mindemann, farmer and lifelong resident of Caddo County who has served as a director on numerous boards in Apache and surrounding communities, Chickasha attorney Robert J. Hays of Hays and Kirkland Law Firm, John A. Lawrence, Chief Financial Officer at Liberty National Bank and Secretary Treasurer of BOE Bancshares, Inc. and Chris Graham, Senior Vice President at Chickasha Bank & Trust Co.

Pettigrew said it was important that the two banks remain locally owned, share similar business cultures and have operating philosophies focused on customer service.

"Local ownership was a big factor in our decisions leading up to the sale," said Pettigrew. "We will continue providing the high standards of service our customers have grown to expect in their banking relationships with Chickasha Bank & Trust. Taking care of customers and maintaining our community relationships will go on as before."

According to Walker, both banks complement each other in their services and markets served. 

"The southern region served by Chickasha Bank & Trust Company is the northern portion of the area served by Liberty National Bank," he said. "With this consolidation, Liberty National Bank will have an expanded service area to the south side of Oklahoma City." 

Walker cited several benefits for customers. 

"We will be able to enhance the banking services we offer and  provide customers the convenience of banking throughout a large area of  central and southwest Oklahoma," he said. "Lawton area customers will have access to the service of Washita Mortgage, which will be our primary source for mortgage lending – with the advantages of local loan decisions and servicing."

Pettigrew said board members strongly feel that the future is bright for the combined banks. 

"This is very much a win-win situation for our employees and customers. It positions us for continued growth and strong, locally-based financial offerings in the communities we serve and the greater southwest Oklahoma region," he said. 

Chickasha Bank & Trust Co. has locations in Tuttle, Blanchard, Cement and Apache in addition to its main banking facility on South 4th Street. 

Liberty National Bank was founded as the Bank of Elgin in 1902.  Green Jr. acquired the bank in 1997 and changed the name to Liberty National Bank in 2002. It has two banking facilities in Lawton and locations in Elgin and Medicine Park. 

The banks' combined nine locations will serve southwest Oklahoma from the southern portion of Oklahoma City to the Texas border along the I-44 corridor.