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Texas Bank and Trust expanding into Dallas market

By Jo Lee Ferguson Special to the News-Journal
Oct. 22, 2013 at 11 p.m.

Longview-based Texas Bank and Trust is hoping to cash in on the Metroplex experiences of two employees as it prepares to expand into the north Dallas area.

The company is planning to open its first Dallas branch by the end of the first quarter of 2014. It already has locations in eight counties in Northeast Texas, extending as far as west as Terrell and Forney.

Rogers Pope Jr., TB&T vice chairman and chief operating officer, said discussions about an expansion into the Dallas area began in May when Kevin Hood joined the bank as senior executive vice president. Hood had banking executive experience in Longview during the late 1990s, but has worked for 15 years in the Dallas area. There, he has connections Texas Bank and Trust said were "excellent" potential customers.

The bank has announced Barry Brown will be president of the bank's Dallas market.

Brown, a naval reserve captain, has more than 30 years of banking experience. He most recently was president of the Bank of the Ozarks' Manatee-Sarasota market in Florida. Before that, he served as a senior commercial lender for the Little Rock-based bank's operations in Frisco.

"This expansion primarily relates to the unique opportunity that presented itself when Kevin joined us," Pope said. "We are really looking at this as a way to get our foot in the door of an area of the Metroplex where Kevin, Barry Brown and a few others of us already have some contacts."

He said the bank didn't expect to quickly be a major player in Dallas.

"We plan to take it slow and see if the TB&T brand of banking catches on," Pope said. "We are optimistic that it will."

The approach, he said, is to strive to be the "leading provider of financial services in any community" where it's located.

"In this case, our initial 'community' in the Metroplex will be relatively small - we are certainly not aspiring to grow just for the sake of growth and to quickly establish multiple locations throughout the Metroplex," Pope said. "Rather, we will establish our initial location with the goal of outperforming our competition in the immediate vicinity, not just in terms of financial performance but also in terms of providing customer service and establishing ourselves as the community bank of choice."

Since 1996, Texas Bank and Trust has added 12 locations in six counties.

Four more locations in Lindale, Hideaway Lake, Overton and New London will be added by the end of this year, with the Dallas branch marking Texas Bank and Trusts' 19th branch, information from the bank said.

That strategic and geographic diversification has been key to Texas Bank and Trust's success, Pope said.

"While Longview is and will always remain home to our corporate headquarters, and while our Longview locations continue to account for the majority of TB&T's loan and deposit relationships, the reality is that our strategic diversification initiative has enabled us to better serve our northeast Texas customers while ensuring the ongoing safety and soundness of our institution," Pope said.

He also noted a continuing trend of bank consolidation, saying there were 14,000 FDIC insured institutions in 1990 compared with 6,940 today. A diversified customer base and meeting a "critical mass threshold" will be important to the bank's continuing prosperity, Pope said.

Texas Bank and Trust is a $1.7 billion independent bank that offers personal banking, business banking, trust and brokerage services.



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