SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. & SANFORD, N.C., Dec. 16, 2015–(PRNewswire)–First Bancorp (NASDAQ – FBNC), the parent company of First Bank and First Bank Insurance Services, Inc. (“First Bank Insurance”), and Bankingport, Inc., an insurance agency based in Sanford, North Carolina (“Bankingport”), jointly announced today that First Bank Insurance and Bankingport have entered into a definitive merger agreement, pursuant to which First Bank Insurance will acquire Bankingport. The combination represents an opportunity for First Bank Insurance to expand and enhance the insurance products it provides to customers and an opportunity to provide Bankingport’s insurance customers with access to First Bank’s full range of commercial banking products and services, all backed by both parties’ strong foundations of local service.
Bill Ray, President of Bankingport and the son of its founder, said, “It was a goal of my father to give excellent service and products to our customers. I feel that we have accomplished this and our commitment to this founding principal remains. With our growth, we needed to expand our operation to continue to provide our customers the service to which they have become accustomed. By combining with First Bank Insurance, we expect to attain a higher level of service for our customers. Our clients will still have the Bankingport agents they have known and our customers will see the same benefits and service they have for years. First Bank Insurance has an excellent reputation and we are excited to partner with them as they bring a wide range of support to the combined agency, including human resources, information technology, and marketing. With this support, we have more time to work harder for our customers.”
Tim Maples, Executive Vice President of First Bank Insurance, agreed, stating that “Bankingport is an outstanding insurance agency with an excellent team focused on its customers’ needs. Bankingport and First Bank Insurance share a common goal to provide exceptional customer service. We are excited about our future together.” Rob Patterson, Regional President of First Bank, said “Lee County has been an outstanding market for First Bank and Bankingport, and we are excited about the opportunities to better serve our customers through a wide array of banking and insurance products and services.”