Bear State Bank to be Acquired by Arvest Bank

Tuesday, August 22 at 02:30 PM
Category: Arvest News

Bear State Bank and Arvest Bank have exciting news to share today. An agreement has been signed where Arvest will acquire Bear State and come together as one customer-focused bank. The acquisition of Bear State Bank meets two strategic goals for Arvest – entry into attractive new markets for the bank, and an expansion of customer base and branches in existing Arvest markets. We’re excited to welcome Bear State Bank customers and associates to Arvest and look forward to working together in the future.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Aug. 22, 2017) – Arvest Bank (“Arvest”) announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Bear State Financial, Inc. (“Bear State”) (NASDAQ:BSF), the parent company of Bear State Bank. The acquisition, expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017 or first quarter of 2018 pending customary regulatory approvals and subject to approval by Bear State shareholders, is an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $391 million.

Bear State Bank operates 42 branches and three personalized technology centers in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, while Arvest operates more than 250 branches in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. As of June 30, 2017, Bear State had total assets of $2.24 billion and total deposits of $1.7 billion in 34 communities. As of June 30, 2017, Arvest had total assets of $17.30 billion and total deposits of $14.98 billion in 120 communities.

“This is a strategic move for us and one made after much careful consideration,” Arvest president and CEO Kevin Sabin said. “In addition to giving us the opportunity to expand into some new communities, this deal also allows us to strengthen our presence in some existing markets.

“Because Bear State is such a solid company with dedicated employees – and because both banks are so committed to their communities – we believe this will be a great fit. From outstanding products and services to superior customer service, Arvest shares a lot of similarities to Bear State and we look forward to serving all of our customers – old and new – with the same courtesy, competency and care as we always have.”

Of the 34 communities where Bear State operates, 18 are markets where Arvest has banking operations while 16 markets will be new communities for Arvest – most notably communities in northeast Arkansas, southwest Arkansas, southern Missouri and southeast Oklahoma. Arvest Bank and Bear State customers will not notice any immediate changes, and both banks will continue to conduct business as usual. A full conversion of systems and accounts will occur in 2018, and Arvest Bank will be communicating with Bear State customers over the next several months regarding their transition to Arvest Bank.

Additionally, all those employed by Bear State on the date of contract closing will become employees of Arvest Bank.

New communities Arvest looks forward to serving in Arkansas are: Ashdown, De Queen, Dierks, Glenwood, Jonesboro, Manila, Monette, Mount Ida, Nashville and Waldron. Arvest will enter the communities of Golden City, Kimberling City, Lamar and Marshfield in Missouri, and Broken Bow and Idabel in Oklahoma. 

About Arvest 

Arvest Bank, named by Forbes magazine as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” for 2017, operates more than 250 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a group of 16 locally managed markets, each with its own local board and management team. These banks serve customers in more than 120 communities, with extended weekday banking hours at many locations. Arvest also provides a wide range of banking services including loans, deposits, treasury management, credit cards, mortgage loans and mortgage servicing. Arvest is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC.

About Bear State Financial

Bear State common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol “BSF.”  For more information on Bear State, please visit www.bearstatefinancial.com.  Its principal subsidiary, Bear State Bank, is a community oriented financial institution providing a broad line of financial products to individuals and business customers. Bear State Bank operates 42 branches, three personalized technology centers equipped with interactive teller machines and three loan production offices throughout Arkansas, Southwest Missouri and Southeast Oklahoma.

 
Tags: Arkansas, Associates, Community Support, Locations, Missouri, Oklahoma
 

Arvest to Hold “Moon Pie,” “Sun Chip” Party Day of Eclipse

Thursday, August 17 at 02:05 PM
Category: Arvest Community News

Arvest Bank will mark the upcoming total solar eclipse on Aug. 21 with a celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in all of the bank’s branches in the North Central Arkansas territory that includes Mountain Home, Harrison, Yellville, Flippin, Lead Hill and Bull Shoals, Ark. and West Plains, Mo.

During the mid-day hours, the bank will provide Moon Pies and Sun Chips in the lobbies of every branch while supplies last. 

“Every community in America will be focused on the eclipse and our location puts us almost in the center of this rare event,” said Tiffany Watkins, assistant vice president and marketing director of Arvest Bank in North Central Arkansas. “We’re sharing in the excitement by providing our customers and guests with some eclipse-themed snacks to add to the occasion.”

The first signs of the total solar eclipse in this area are expected to begin around 11:45 a.m. and culminate around 2:45 p.m. 

Tags: Arkansas, Missouri
 

MyBankTracker Recognizes Arvest Bank

Wednesday, August 09 at 11:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Bank once again has been recognized by MyBankTracker.com, which touts itself as a personal finance resource for more than a million monthly visitors.

Arvest was named the “Best Southern Customer-Focused Bank” for the fourth consecutive quarter. MyBankTracker.com’s regional awards are given on a quarterly basis.

MyBankTracker.com* cited Arvest’s extensive branch network, extended hours and high levels of transparency, among other factors, in announcing it as a winner.

This honor comes after Arvest was recognized in May by Forbes magazine as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” for 2017. The bank ranked 208th out of the 500 businesses nationwide – with 5,000 or more full- or part-time associates – that scored highest in an independent survey of employees regarding satisfaction with their company. Additionally, Arvest is the highest-ranking community bank among all companies in the banking/financial services category and the only Arkansas-based company on the large employer list.

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Tags: Arkansas, Associates, Award, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma
 

Arvest Bank Surpasses $1B Mortgage Mark for 15th Consecutive Year

Tuesday, August 01 at 10:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Bank announced today that its mortgage division has originated more than $1 billion in mortgage loans for the 15th year in a row. That includes both purchase-money and refinance loans. This is the earliest the bank has reached the $1 billion mark since 2013, indicating a strong real estate market in the communities the bank serves.

“We are honored that our customers choose Arvest for their mortgage business, both when purchasing a home and in situations when our low rates provide them the opportunity to refinance and improve their financial position,” said Steven Plaisance, president and chief executive officer of Arvest’s mortgage division. “The majority of loans we are issuing are purchase-money loans, which is a healthy sign for our markets, and rates are still very good.”

Arvest reached the $1 billion mark almost a month sooner than it did last year. As of July 24, Arvest had closed a total of 5,696 loans with a total loan value of $1,004,913,837. In 2016, the bank reached the $1 billion mark on Aug. 19.

“The housing market is very robust, with record home sales in some areas and certainly competitive lending rates,” said Plaisance. “Consumer confidence has been strong and that’s certainly reflected in the mortgage industry.”

This is the fourth consecutive year in which purchase-money loans account for more of Arvest’s total mortgage loan volume than refinances. Through July 24, purchase-money loans accounted for 64 percent of the company’s total loan volume. That’s up from 58 percent in 2016. 

“The continued year-over-year increase in purchase-money activity in our markets is yet another strong indicator of the health of those local economies,” Plaisance said.

Through July 24 of this year, Arvest made 3,687 purchase-money loans with a volume of $645,467,279. That’s up from 3,390 loans and $555,367,905 in volume compared to year-to-date totals on July 24, 2016.

Arvest’s overall volume of $1,004,913,837 – on 5,696 loans as of July 24, 2017 – is up from $860,630,640 on 5,360 loans as of July 24, 2016. That’s a 16.8 percent increase compared to the same time last year.

The average loan size at Arvest as of July 24 for this year also increased, compared to the same period last year, from $160,565 to $176,424, reflecting improving values in the real estate market.

Arvest is unique among most local lenders in that it services 99 percent of its mortgage loans, meaning that customers make their payments to Arvest and work directly with Arvest for any needs after their loan closes.

Tags: Arkansas, Kansas, Lending and Financing, Missouri, Mortgage, Oklahoma, Press Release
 

Kristin Patterson Inspires Campers – People Helping People Series

Friday, July 14 at 07:15 PM
Category: Arvest Community News

“My motivation is simple. It’s those kids and those smiles,” Kristin Patterson said.

As co-director of Camp Quality Ozarks, Kristin has one purpose: to let kids be kids, even when they have cancer.

“When you undergo cancer as a child, you grow up very fast. You are entered into the adult world whether you want to or not,” Kristin said. “You lose your hair, you may have scars, but here it doesn’t matter, you’re just a kid. You’re just like the others.”

And just like any kid, those who come to Camp Quality Ozarks want to spend their week having typical summer fun.

“We play basketball, soccer, we have fishing, swimming, yoga, CrossFit, and also a really awesome bike park that they get to play on,” Kristin said.

Bethany is one of the campers that knows Kristin. “Camp Quality is a lot like a home away from home. It really helps you to be like your inner self,” Bethany said. “So people aren’t judging you for what you do or who you’re acting like or whatever.”

Tabitha is another teen participating in Camp Quality. “It’s inspired me to be more of myself and get to know others a lot more. And not let what I’m scared of get in the way of what I know I should and can do,” Tabitha said. 

As a child, Kristin experienced the difficulties of cancer and understands what these kids are going through.

“This is my 20th year here at Camp Quality. Eight of those years was as a camper. I was diagnosed with AML leukemia at the age of 10, and went through treatment,” Kristin said. “My sister gave me a bone marrow transplant and I’m very blessed to still be here today.”

Tabitha said she’s able to relate to Kristin more because of their similar experiences. “After going through the same things, it’s a lot easier to bond with her.”

“Kristen is like the big sister I’ve never had,” Tabitha said. 

According to Bethany, she knows she can rely on Kristin for help. “If you just need … somebody to have a shoulder to cry on, she’s there,” Bethany said. “She might start crying with you, but she’ll definitely help with whatever you’re going through.”

It can be a challenging job, but it’s always rewarding, according to Kristin.

“It’s knowing that they’re getting to come here and enjoy themselves. Knowing that they’re making friendships that they can carry on. And also that they’re making friendships [with others who] they have something in common with and they’re able to talk to each other about it.”

“But to see those smiles and to see them playing and having fun is the biggest blessing that I could ever have,” Kristin said. 

Watch* Kristin in action. 

Kristin’s story is part of Arvest Bank’s People Helping People series featuring citizens giving back to their community. 

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Tags: Arkansas, Associates, Charitable Giving, Community Support, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, People Helping People

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