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Construction to Start on South Atlantic Bank Mount Pleasant Headquarters

SAB Rendering

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, June 17, 2016 – As crews prepare to clear the lot on Johnnie Dodds Boulevard, work will be underway on South Atlantic Bank’s new home base in Mount Pleasant.

The building site is a 1.36 acre parcel in front of the Queensborough Shopping Center that the bank has leased from an affiliate of Charleston-based Jupiter Holdings, LLC.

The new building will resemble the bank’s offices in the Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet markets, including pulley-operated ceiling fans, deep porticos, and louvered storm shutters. The 8,000 square-foot, two-story facility will house a full-service branch on the first floor, with space on the second floor to be leased to tenants. ESD Architecture of Charlotte designed the building and Coastal Structures of Georgetown will serve as the contractor.

The design uses a southern coastal color palette, with shades of brown, cream, and mossy green, and includes a brick veneer of rusty red and browns. The metal roof is made of double lock 22 gauge steel in a shade of brown called “Weathered Zinc” and the Bahama Shutters for windows on the first and second floor are black aluminum. Siding and trim work will be in Hardie Board “Sailcloth” and the vertical siding on the second floor is in Hardie Board “Heathered Moss.”

The overall branch design emphasizes easy, convenient service. Customer amenities will include drive-thru lanes, a drive-up automated teller machine (ATM), and a comfortable reception area with free Wi-Fi and hot coffee. The building will use technology to enhance the customer’s banking experience. For example, a user-friendly kiosk will allow customers to learn about the bank’s products and services, including online and mobile banking. At the teller line, a teller pod will streamline the processing of deposits for faster, more efficient service. Additionally, customers will be able to access their safe deposit boxes without assistance from branch personnel via a new biometric access system. To gain entry to the safe deposit room, the customer places his hand on the reader and enters a personal code, then uses his key to open the box.

South Atlantic Bank has had a presence in the market since October 2013, when it opened a loan production office at 1127 Queensborough Boulevard. That location became a full-service banking office in August 2014, upon receipt of approvals from the FDIC and the South Carolina State Board of Financial Institutions. The current location is just minutes from the building site, and will close when the new office opens.

Chairman of the board and chief executive officer K. Wayne Wicker stated, “Our new office will serve as the bank’s headquarters in Mount Pleasant and is being built to accommodate the bank’s growth in the years to come. Our team in Mount Pleasant has done an excellent job in establishing the bank’s presence and reputation and we are looking forward to getting construction underway.”

South Atlantic Welcomes New Hires

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, May 10, 2016 – South Atlantic Bank welcomes three new hires, Carrie Harris, Kaela Rogers, and Ann Jackson. Harris serves as a senior vice president and the bank’s director of human resources, Rogers operates as a customer service representative in the Pawleys Island branch, and Jackson joined the mortgage operations team.

Carrie HarrisHarris has more than 20 years of experience including 17 years with Anchor Bank as a staffing manager and Carolina First/TD Bank as a regional human resources manager and recruiter. She is the bank’s first official human resources director and is located at the main office in Myrtle Beach. Harris is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa with a B. A. degree in management with an emphasis in human resource management and a minor in psychology. In the community, she is a member of the Coastal Organization of Human Resources. She and her family live in Myrtle Beach.

Kaela RogersRogers most recently worked with Broadway Grand Prix as the assistant director of sales. She is a graduate of Florence-Darlington Technical Institute with an associate’s degree in marketing. Rogers is a life-long resident of the Murrells Inlet area.

JacksonJackson joined the staff as a mortgage closer in our Murrells Inlet office. She previously worked as a compliance analyst with Freddie Mac in Virginia before relocating to Myrtle Beach. Jackson has an extensive background working with loans having also served with Aurora Loan Services, a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers Bank, and Chevy Chase Bank, both located in Maryland. Originally fro Maryland, she graduated from Williamsport High School before attending Hagerstown Community College.

Net Income Shows Improvement for South Atlantic Bancshares

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, April 19, 2016 – South Atlantic Bancshares, Inc. (OTCQX: SABK), parent of South Atlantic Bank, today reported net income of $496,913 or $0.14 per diluted share for the three months ended March 31, 2016, compared to $482,504 or $0.12 per diluted share reported for the same period a year ago. This represents a 3.0% increase in net income year over year.

Financial Highlights

  • The first quarter 2016 was the company's 21st consecutive profitable quarter, continuing a string of strong performances that began with the first quarter 2011.
  • Credit quality remains strong with no net charge-offs and nonperforming assets to average total assets of just 0.10 percent.
  • Excluding securities gains, pre-tax net income grew 51.6 percent year over year.
  • Excluding securities gains, noninterest income grew 21.7 percent year over year.
  • Strong performance continued even as the company absorbed the full effect of North Myrtle Beach expansion during the first quarter.
  • The net interest margin improved to 4.0 percent.
  • Total loans grew 22.5 percent, from $269.3 million at March 31, 2015 to $329.9 million at March 31, 2016.
  • Total deposits grew 12.5 percent, from $322.5 million reported at March 31, 2015, to $362.8 million at March 31, 2016.
  • Total assets grew 17.2 percent, from $356.7 million at March 31, 2015, to $418.2 million at March 31, 2016.

"Several factors drove the company's financial performance in the first quarter," said K. Wayne Wicker, chairman of the board and chief executive officer. "Loan growth was solid throughout our geographic footprint, fueling gains in net interest income. The net interest margin improved to four percent for the first time in our history. Our mortgage area reported its strongest quarter in the bank's history, reaching highs for both earnings and volume. Additionally, core deposits continued to grow, comprising nearly thirty-three percent of total deposits. In other news, we will break ground on a new office in Mount Pleasant on Johnnie Dodds Boulevard during the second quarter and expect to occupy the facility by mid-2017. Until then, banking operations will continue at our current location at 1027 Queensborough Boulevard," Wicker said.

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Van Wagner and Byrd Transition to new Posts

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, March 1, 2016 – South Atlantic Bank’s Alison Van Wagner is now a banking officer and will serve as an assistant branch manager at the Main Office. Van Wagner will move from her position as a customer service representative (CSR) in the Murrells Inlet office. Kelly Byrd will fill that position, transferring from the Pawleys Island office where she served as the primary CSR.

Van Wagner originally joined the bank as a teller in Murrells Inlet in January 2014. Prior to South Atlantic Bank, she served as a personal banker at First Federal. Alison is a graduate of Coastal Carolina University with a B.A. degree in communications. She has resided in Myrtle Beach for the past nine years.

Byrd joined South Atlantic Bank in December 2014 as a teller and secondary customer service representative in Pawleys Island. She brought with her 11 years of business experience, including three years spent at Bank of America. Byrd relocated to Murrells Inlet from Virginia Beach, Virginia in 2008.

South Atlantic Bancshares Net Income up 11.8 Percent Assets Cross $400 Million Mark

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, January 28, 2016 – South Atlantic Bancshares, Inc. (OTCQX: SABK), parent of South Atlantic Bank, today reported net income of $2,240,817 or $0.63 per diluted share for the year ended December 31, 2015, compared to $2,004,218 or $0.56 per diluted share reported for the same period a year ago. These figures represent an 11.8 percent increase in net income.

Financial Highlights

  • Year-end 2015 represents the company’s fifth consecutive profitable year.
  • Credit quality remains strong with net charge-offs to average total assets of 0.01 percent and zero past due loans for 2015.
  • Net interest margin is 3.80 percent.
  • Total loans grew 19.7 percent in 2015, from $262.6 million at December 31, 2014 to $314.3 million at December 31, 2015.
  • Total deposits grew 3.3 percent, from $326.6 million reported at December 31, 2014, to $337.4 million at December 31, 2015.
  • Total assets grew 10.2 percent, from $363.3 million at December 31, 2014, to $400.2 million at December 31, 2015.

“It has been a year of outstanding achievement for our company,” said K. Wayne Wicker, chairman of the board and chief executive officer. “Our financial performance continues to improve, fueled by growth in the loan portfolio in all the markets we serve. Additionally, the merchant services and mortgage loan areas of the bank contributed to our results, helping noninterest income grow fifty-four percent this year.

The company also met several goals in 2015. We further developed our branch network with expansion to North Myrtle Beach and plans for a new and larger office in the Mount Pleasant market. We moved our website from the dot com domain to the dot bank domain, which provides greater safeguards for online commerce. We also continued to upgrade customer services including our goMobile banking app,” Wicker said.

Additionally, the company completed a private placement offering for its common stock, raising $4.6 million to be used for general corporate purposes and to support the growth and capital position of the bank. In October, the company’s stock began to trade on the OTCQX Marketplace, creating greater visibility and accessibility. Lastly, a 10 percent stock dividend – the second in the company’s brief history – took place in December.

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Everyone can Protect Themselves Against Fraud

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, January 6, 2016 – As the holiday season comes to a close, many consumers nationwide have felt the pain that comes with compromised debit cards and fraudulent charges. Debit card fraud can occur in many different ways, the most popular including physical theft of the card, a stolen PIN/card number by an observer from behind, identity theft, hacking, and falsifying or duplicating cards. Cardholders are vulnerable because funds for debit card purchases come directly from their checking accounts.

To help protect consumers from fraud, South Atlantic Bank now offers a free text messaging service to its debit cardholders called smsGuardian®. Senior Vice President and Director of Branch and Deposit Operations Tiffany Suggs says the service is a huge step in the right direction. “Banks are constantly working to prevent fraud. smsGuardian provides cardholders with instant information and easier access to their accounts, helping us stop thieves in their tracks,” explains Suggs.

Here’s how it works: the program sends a text to the mobile device registered with the customer’s account any time specific card transactions are made. This list includes: purchasing fuel; making international, phone, online, and out of state transactions; any declined authorizations; purchases of more than $100; and purchasing more than three items in a 24 hour time period. These sorts of transactions have a higher risk of fraud. The text is sent within seconds of the card swipe and the customer needs to respond to the text only if he or she did not make the transaction in question.

South Atlantic Bank provides this service for free to its debit cardholders. 

 “We decided to offer the service for free because it’s in everyone’s best interest to deter fraud before it happens. With smsGuardian, we’ve enlisted our customers in the fight. By carefully monitoring their accounts and using a service such as smsGuardian, consumers can help protect themselves,” says Suggs. 

The bank employs other safeguards for debit cards including a live, real-time monitoring system that watches for suspicious activity. In the event of fraud, South Atlantic Bank requires customers to provide notification of the transactions within two business days. Customers will lose no more than $50 if someone used their card and/or code without their permission. They will not be liable for any charges if the proper steps have been taken to safeguard the card. 

 To enroll, visit your local South Atlantic Bank!