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 almost the entire first floor of the building.
In July 2013, First Bank announced the acquisition of Heritage Community Bank based in Morris County, NJ. The merger is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. Once closed, the combined franchise would have 8 branches and over $500 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 future Morris County locations.
As of September 30, 2013, First Bank had five branches, $426 million in assets, $314 million in loans, and $378 million in deposits. We have over 55 full time equivalent employees working throughout Gloucester, Mercer, and Somerset Counties.
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 Heritage Acquisition as well as support future organic growth.
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….