First Bank Celebrates 75 Years of Community Banking

Troy, N.C. — August 2010 will mark First Bank’s 75th year of operation. The bank was founded in 1935 as Bank of Montgomery and changed its name to First Bank in 1985 as it began to offer services outside of Montgomery County. What has not changed, however, is First Bank’s presence as a safe, secure and trusted partner in the communities it serves. As a result, First Bank has grown to become one of the most well respected financial institutions in the nation.

“We look on this anniversary as an opportunity to remember and celebrate everything that First Bank has achieved over the last 75 years as a result of always putting our customers and safe banking practices first, just as our founders did,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Jerry Ocheltree.

First Bank has grown from its beginning, with one branch in Montgomery County, to 92 locations in communities throughout the Carolinas and Virginia. Its total assets, currently $3.3 billion, have steadily risen over the years, even during times of economic disparity. First Bank stock is on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol FBNC.

Reaching another landmark, in this anniversary year First Bank was named one of the nation’s top performing banks in a study published by the American Bankers Association. The study, which looked at public banks and thrifts with total assets of more than $3 billion, found that First Bank ranked 5th nationally based on its return on average total equity for 2009.

First Bank was recognized in 2009 for the second year in a row by investment firm Sandler O’Neill & Partners as one of the top performing banks in the nation. Sandler O’Neill is a well-known and highly regarded investment firm specializing in the commercial banking industry who performs an annual review of banks, focusing on growth, profitability, credit quality and capital strength.

“Of course, all of our success would not be possible without our loyal customers who have trusted us for generations, and the dedication of our First Bank employee family,” said Ocheltree. “We believe that by putting our customers first, we will continue to be a trusted member of the communities we serve for years to come.”

Each First Bank branch will hold a Customer Appreciation Day Celebration to commemorate the anniversary.