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moneyIt goes without saying that marriage is a huge step that comes without a lot of responsibility and accountability. Not only are you joining your life with another individual symbolically for what is ideally forever, but you are also marrying many physical aspects of your life, such as finances and debt. While some couples may choose to keep their finances separate regardless of marriage, this can occasionally cause trust issues as you may question what your significant other is spending his or her money on. To foster trust and communication about finances with your significant other, we recommended that you join your financial accounts with your spouse after you marry.

We also suggest that you wait until you are married to join accounts. While you may be in love, and may even be engaged, there are some couples that never say “I do,” and it can make breakups especially messy ...

pam-a-nderson-banky-awardFirst Reliance Bank, a local Florence icon, was just named among the top 1 percent most extraordinary banks in the United States by The Institute for Extraordinary Banking™.

First Reliance Bank was recognized with the Institute’s Banky® Award for their commitment to strong community banking. This recognition is given to the top 60 out of 6,000 community banks across the country.

“We set out to make First Reliance Bank an exemplary community bank which doesn’t just exist to make money.  We are proud to come to work every day with a purpose, “to make the lives of our customers better,” said Rick Saunders, First Reliance Bank CEO.   “If you’ve been in banking long, you quickly understand that product and price do not differentiate you from the competition.  The only differentiator is the customer experience which is the core of what we do. Our associates are driven by our purpose and ...

Article written BY JOE PERRY Morning News,

FLORENCE, S.C. – Robby Hill wanted to scare everyone.
The founder of HillSouth brought his IT wisdom to Tuesday morning’s Small Business Series seminar at First Reliance Bank’s training center and told the small crowd he wanted to scare them by explaining ransomware.
“I’ve never seen more specific targeting,” he said, referring to a roughly three-year-old computer virus tactic that locks up a hard drive that will only be freed upon paying thousands of dollars in Bitcoin, an untraceable electronic currency. “I have a lot of stories – very scary.”

Bankers offer guidance to start-ups at Florence seminar

Article written BY JOE PERRY Morning News and reprinted.

At Florence seminar, CPA offers advice for start-ups

About 40 years ago, Nancy Waring gained a foothold as a small-business owner.
“So I kind of feel your pain if you’re just starting out, not knowing a lot and not knowing some of the things you wish you had information on,” she said.
As a certified public accountant at Waring & Associates CPAs, she wanted to share her knowledge gained from years of experience in hopes that today’s small-business owner looking to launch a start-up doesn’t feel quite the degree of pain she first experienced. Waring was one ...

One of the most popular services offered by First Reliance Bank is the refinancing of auto and truck loans from other lenders. You may have considered this yourself, but wondered if it was worth the time and trouble, how much it costs, and what you have to do. When you hear the word "refinance," what may come to mind is the process of refinancing a home mortgage. If you've done this, you know there are some costs involved and it does take a bit of time. Refinancing a vehicle loan with First Reliance Bank is much faster and simpler.

Here are a few things to know about refinancing a vehicle loan:

  • You don't have to talk to your current lender to arrange the refinancing. First Reliance Bank will take care of everything needed to transfer your loan. Occasionally, a lender may require a call from you to verify that you ...

World Elder Abuse Awareness DayEvery year, millions of seniors fall victim to financial fraud. Studies show elder financial abuse costs seniors approximately $2.9 billion each year. In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, First Reliance Bank is urging older customers and their trusted caregivers to safeguard all personal information and stay alert to the common signs of financial abuse.

“Fraudsters often prey on seniors experiencing cognitive decline, limited mobility and other disabilities that require them to rely more heavily on others for help,” said Rick Saunders, President and CEO. “Appointing someone you know and trust to handle your financial matters aids tremendously in the fight against these crimes.”

First Reliance Bank is offering the following tips:


  • Plan ahead to protect your assets and to ensure your wishes are followed. Talk to someone at your financial institution, an attorney, or financial advisor about the best options for you.

  • Carefully choose a ...

SHE Magazine, June 2016 issue, ran a feature article on Paul Saunders who was the 2015 He Behind The She award recipient at the SHE Inspires Extraordinary Women event.  Paul's name was submitted by several woman owned businesses in Florence that he helped start and expand their business by providing banking support. The full article can be read here:  Paul and Freddie Saunders

First Reliance Makes Partial Redemption of TARP Preferred And Notices Intent to Redeem All Remaining Shares Outstanding


FLORENCE,  South Carolina – June 3, 2016 – First Reliance Bancshares, Inc. (OTC: FSRL), the holding company (the “Company”) for First Reliance Bank (the “Bank”), announced that it made a partial redemption of 4,000 shares, or 26.1 % of its 15,349 shares of outstanding Fixed Rate Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series A (“Series A Preferred Stock”) that were originally issued to the United States Department of the Treasury (“U.S. Treasury”) under the Troubled Asset Relief Program Capital Purchase Program (“TARP”).  In March 2013, the U.S. Treasury sold all 15,349 shares of Series A Preferred Stock and Fixed Rate Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series B (“Series B Preferred Stock”) previously held by it to private investors.  The redemption price for the shares of Series A Preferred Stock was $1,000 per share, plus accrued and ...

John Bozard head shot copyJohn Bozard has joined First Reliance Bank as a Relationship Banker, for the Lexington, S.C. area. In his new role, he will be reaching out to businesses throughout the area and introducing them to First Reliance Bank's business products and services and he’ll represent the Bank through involvement in local associations, charities or business organizations.

Bozard spent the majority of his banking career with First Citizens Bank in Lexington, South Carolina and has over 30 years of experience. His long track record includes successfully leading the Lexington area commercial lender efforts. He has achieved numerous banking awards including a Top Performer Best Banker Award for highest branch and individual performance scores among peers.

Bozard has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Presbyterian College, South Carolina. He also has a Masters of Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College.

He currently serves as a council member of ...

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