Southern Bank and Trust Company of Mount Olive recently announce that the bank has received its fifth consecutive Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) “Outstanding” rating — the highest CRA rating possible granted by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
CRA was enacted by Congress in 1977 to encourage depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities they serve. Under CRA, each insured depository institution’s performance in helping meet the credit needs of its communities is evaluated periodically by the regulatory agencies.
The “Outstanding” rating is based on Southern Bank’s performance under the CRA community development lending, investment and service tests from June 23, 2009, through July 9, 2012. The bank’s mortgage, small business, small farm and community development lending, community development investments and community services were examined in the communities the bank serves.
“We are extremely honored that our bank has earned its fifth ‘Outstanding’ CRA rating,” said Robert Shepherd, SVP and corporate CRA officer. “This rating is a reflection of our directors, senior management and employees’ commitment to help meet the credit needs of our banking communities. Our passion for our communities is sincere, and our commitment to community reinvestment remains steadfast.”
A bank’s CRA rating is one of many factors that bank regulatory agencies review when considering applications for branch openings and closings from federally insured banking institutions. An unsatisfactory rating under the Community Reinvestment Act can potentially lead to the denial of such applications. In 1995, the CRA Act was revised to focus bank examination ratings on actual performance, rather than demonstrated efforts. Since the 1995 revisions, few banks have received an “Outstanding” rating. Other possible CRA ratings banks can receive are as follows: Satisfactory, Needs to Improve, and Substantial Noncompliance.
Founded in 1901, Southern Bank and Trust Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern BancShares (N.C.), Inc. With its Corporate Headquarters located in Mount Olive, the bank has total assets of approximately $2 billion and a branch network in North Carolina and Virginia. More information about Southern Bank is available on the Internet at southernbank.com.