Commercial Bank, based in nearby Crawford, plans to expand into Madison County in the spring of 2010.
The bank will move into the Windstream building in Comer on Hwy. 72 with hopes of opening the new branch in April.
The 85-year-old bank already has a customer base in southeastern Madison County, a Commercial official said, which prompted the move to Comer.
“We felt like it was just advantageous for us to reach out to that Carlton, Comer and Colbert area by heading that way,” said Larry Townsend, Commercial’s chief operations officer.
Townsend acknowledged the current struggles of the banking industry, but noted that Commercial is a smaller bank with a focused market. Most of Commercial’s business comes through consumer lending. Because of that, Commercial hasn’t suffered the commercial development and real estate acquisition development loan losses that have hindered larger banks.
Through the third quarter, Commercial had posted a net income of $262,000. It is anticipating around $500,000 in profits this year.
The Comer branch will be a full-service bank. Those services will include safety deposit boxes as long as there’s enough space in the vault area after the retrofitting of the Windstream building.
Commercial will employ five to six people at the Comer site and is interested in hiring local bankers, Townsend said.
This will Commercial Bank’s third branch. The other two sites are located in Crawford and Winterville.
According to a press release, Commercial has filed applications with the state’s department of banking and finance and the federal deposit insurance corporation to open the Comer branch.
Townsend said in the press release that Commercial is “confident that our regulators will approve our application and allow us to branch our strength and stability within Madison County.”