First Bancorp Selected for Award
First Bancorp, parent company of First Bank, was recently recognized by investment banking firm Sandler O'Neill & Partners as one of the top performing small-cap banks in the nation.
New York-based Sandler O'Neill is one of the best-known and most highly regarded investment firms specializing in the commercial banking industry.
Out of 574 publicly traded banks and thrifts with a market cap of less than $2 billion, First Bancorp was one of only 33 institutions in the nation that were selected to its "Sm-All Star" list. First Bancorp was one of only two North Carolina banks on this list, with ECB Bancorp, Inc. being the other.
The Sandler O'Neill analysis focused on growth, profitability, credit quality, and capital strength.
"We are very pleased to be recognized as one of the nation's elite banks," said Jerry L. Ocheltree, president and CEO of First Bancorp. "We thank our customers who allow us to provide them with their community banking services. Without our customers, this honor would not be possible.
"We especially welcome this honor in light of these uncertain times. We know that some consumers are understandably concerned about the banking industry. With First Bancorp's inclusion on this prestigious list, we hope that customers can rest assured more than ever that their money is safe at First Bank."
First Bancorp is a bank holding company headquartered in Troy, with total assets of more than $2.6 billion. Its principal activity is the ownership and operation of First Bank, a state-chartered community bank with 74 branch offices.
Sixty-three branches are in a 21-county market area in the central Piedmont and coastal regions of North Carolina, with six branches in South Carolina and five in Virginia. First Bank also has a loan production office in Blacksburg, Va.
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