Chattanooga's First Volunteer to buy First Bank in Dalton, Georgia

Staff photo by Tim Barber/Chattanooga Times Free Press - First Bank of Dalton located at the corner of Hamilton and King Streets.

Two of the biggest community banks in the Chattanooga region are planning to combine later this year and adopt a new name under a merger plan endorsed by directors of both banks Thursday.

First Volunteer Corp. in Chattanooga has agreed to buy the parent company of First Bank in Dalton, Georgia, the last remaining locally owned community bank in Whitfield County.

The proposed purchase, which is still subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, is the latest among a half dozen similar bank acquisitions First Volunteer has made over the past two decades, including its most recent purchase of the former Gateway Bank & Trust in Ringgold, Georgia in 2012.

Terms of the purchase were not dislosed by the two privately held companies.

First Bank in Dalton was started in 1996 and has grown to more than $489 million in assets with six branch offices in Whitfield and Murray counties.