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Chris Holmes / Contributed photo

CORRECTION: This story was updated at 10:20 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, to correct the name of Farmers National in the second paragraph.

The parent company of FirstBank, which grew its presence in the Chattanooga market by buying the former Northwest Georgia Bank in 2015 and the Tennessee offices of Atlantic Capital Bank last year, announced Tuesday it is expanding into Kentucky with the purchase of Farmers National Bank of Scottsville for $51.9 million.

Farmers National, a 96-year-old bank with assets of $253 million and deposits of $204 million, is headquartered in Scottsville just southeast of Bowling Green, Kentucky, where Farmers National is the seventh biggest bank in the market. Farmers National operates five offices in south central Kentucky.

"Farmers National has been a pillar of the Scottsville community for almost 100 years, and that longevity is reflected in the quality of its associates, customers and reputation," said FirstBank President and CEO Chris Holmes. "We believe that Scottsville and Bowling Green are attractive markets to bank, and we look forward to supporting the Farmers National associates as they continue to build upon the strong foundation first laid in the Scottsville community in 1923."

Following close of the transaction, Dan Harbison, the president and CEO of Farmers National, will serve as market president for FirstBank and will be responsible for managing the combined banks' presence in Kentucky.

Farmers National's deposit base included 28% non-interest bearing deposits as of June 30 and had a cost of total deposits of 0.90% for the second quarter of 2019. For the first half of 2019, Farmers National earned nearly $1.5 million and had a return on average assets of 1.18% with a net interest margin of 4.08%.

FirstBank, headquartered in Nashville, reported assets of more than $5.9 billion as of June 30. The purchase will push FirstBank's asset size above $6 billion, helping to make the bank the third biggest bank based in Tennessee behind only the Memphis-based First Tennessee and the Nashville-based Pinnacle bank.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 757-6340.

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