On April 23, 2007, First Bank commenced operations at its office at 1229 South Black Horse Pike in Williamstown, New Jersey. In October 2008, an investor group led by Patrick L. Ryan and Leslie E. Goodman recapitalized the bank with an investment of $19 million from various local investors.
In February 2009, First Bank opened its second branch office in Lawrence, New Jersey. A third branch office was opened shortly thereafter in Ewing, NJ. Both locations were examples of the bank’s low-cost strategy of entering previously-occupied bank locations and re-opening with minimal cost and capital investment.
Construction of the bank’s full-service branch location in Williamstown was completed in September of 2009.
In December of 2010, First Bank established a true corporate headquarters by moving into the old Yardville National Bank (YNB) headquarters building located in Hamilton, NJ at 2465 Kuser Road. The former YNB branch at that same location was opened as a First Bank branch one year later in December 2011. As the bank has continued to expand, the First Bank team now occupies the entire first floor of the building and part of the second floor.
In July 2013, First Bank announced the acquisition of Heritage Community Bank (HCB) based in Morris County, NJ. The merger closed on March 7, 2014. The combined franchise has 8 branches and over $600 million in assets. On September 16, 2013, we opened a new branch location in Somerset, New Jersey at 225 DeMott Lane. This marked our fifth full-service branch location in NJ, and our first location in Somerset County. This location provides another example of our low-cost approach to branch banking with its smaller footprint, reasonable rental rate, and minimal capital investment required (since it was previously used as a bank branch location). Our Somerset location also helps to bridge the gap between our Mercer County locations, and our new Morris County locations.
On November 20, 2013, we completed our initial public offering, raising $23 million before underwriting discounts, commissions, and expenses. Our stock now trades on the NASDAQ Global Market under the ticker symbol FRBA. The new capital will be used to support the HCB Acquisition as well as support future organic growth.
As of December 31, 2013, First Bank had five branches, $467 million in assets, $340 million in loans, and $399 million in deposits. Together with HCB, we have approximately 90 employees working throughout Gloucester, Mercer, Somerset and Morris Counties.
As we continue to grow and expand, we remain committed to doing our part to help grow the economy and create value for our shareholders and stakeholders. With new branches, new markets, new products, and new technology all under consideration, we’re excited for the future….