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Drummond-Perkins merger complete on Monday

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Letters going out to customers

By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

Levy County's two remaining community banks — Perkins State Bank and Drummond Community Bank — are in the final steps of completing the merger they announced in June 2012. 

On Friday, work will be complete on joining the computer systems of both banks.

On Monday, customers of either bank can start doing business as the former Perkins State and Drummond Community banks 12 locations which will open for business as Drummond Community Bank.

Letters have been sent out to customers of both banks by Luther Drummond, president and chief executive officer of the newly merged operation. When the move was announced last summer, it was also announced that Perkins President Frank Etheridge is area president of the new banking operation. 

Monday's opening comes after regulators have poured over the paperwork of both banks and each bank checked the other's books to make sure the deal is right. 

The new bank will have offices in the following cities and towns: Archer, Bell, Bronson, Cedar Key, Chiefland, also Nature Coast Insurance in Chiefland and Williston, Cross City, in Old Town as Banker's Title of the Nature Coast, in Williston at Nature Coast Financial Services, Inglis, Mayo. Old Town, Trenton and Williston on Noble and 7th Avenue. 

In the letter to Perkins customers, Drummond said, “As you know, Drummond Community Bank has many things in common with Perkins State Bank.  First of all, we share the same values, such as our commitment to the community and dedication to provide our customers with world-class financial management in a community-banking atmosphere.  After the merger, we promise to continue to provide you with the same extraordinary, superior banking experience each and every time you visit one of our twelve Drummond Community Bank offices.”

And he invites the customers to call if they have any questions left unanswered by the packet of information included with the letter. 

Drummond said in the Q and A that the merger makes the banks a stronger unit. “In looking at the economic environment, the future forecast of interest rates and increasing cost to comply with regulations, it is in the best interest of both banks to merge,” he wrote. “By merging, the bank can continue to operate as a larger community bank within the same geographical area, with decisions being made locally for our customers, and costs can be spread over a larger asset base.  Post merger, we will be the only community bank left in Levy County.”

There is one set of changes customers are likely to notice and that is in the names of different accounts offered by the banks. 

According to the letter, the old Treasure Chest account will be called Kids' Club. That's the accounts for children up to age 13. For children between ages 13 and 18, the Treasure Chest account will become Minor Savings. The old Privilege 50 account will become the Priivilege 55 and the Perkins Prestige will simply be called Prestige. 

While customers will still be able to use telephone banking there is a new process for accessing it. Customers are being asked to call Drummond Community Bank’s Telephone Banking system at 1-888-724-BANK and access the new system by using their Social Security Number (SSN) for the ID and the last four digits of their SSN or tax ID number as the PIN.  Once in, customers will be prompted to update their PIN.  Your User ID will always be your SSN/Tax ID.

Fr online customers, accounts can be accessed at  www.drummondbank.com and Perkins customers will need to establish a new password. For Perkins customers the temporary password will be: DCB + the last 4 of their SSN. Follow the prompts to set up a new password. 

Perkins customers will not be able to access their account history after the conversion, but may print out their account history prior to Friday, March 22 or contact the bank to arrange the pick-up of a complimentary CD with 12 months of historical information.

Perkins bank customer's bank cards will continue to work until they expire when new ones will be issued, according to the letter.