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It’s Almost Vacation Time!

Are you dreaming of a vacation or getaway? If you are beginning to plan or are ready to book airline tickets, here are some travel tips to avoid overspending. Airfare savings with cut-rate travel is possible!

When to book a plane ticket

Book in advance: Generally, booking flights well in advance can help you save money. Airline prices tend to go up as you get closer to the travel date, so book your flights as early as possible if you know your travel plans well in advance. Book 49 days in advance, or seven weeks for the best airfare.  Studies show that is when the fares tend to be the lowest.

Be flexible with your travel dates: If you are flexible with your travel dates, you can save a lot of money. Try to avoid flying during peak travel periods like holidays or weekends, as prices are usually higher during ...

Sarah Baldwin, Senior Vice President, Retail Mortgage Sales
Sarah Baldwin, Senior Vice President, Retail Mortgage Sales

April 18, 2023 – Columbia, S.C. —  First Reliance Bank announces that Sarah Baldwin has been promoted to SVP Retail Mortgage Sales at FRB Mortgage, a division of First Reliance Bank. She is responsible for developing and managing relationships with referral partners and working with a team of mortgage loan officers.

President of First Reliance Justin Strickland said, “I have had the privilege of working with Sarah since she began her career as a Mortgage Executive Originator in 2009. She has performed at a level that ranks her as the best mortgage executive I have worked with in my 38 years of banking.

Chuck Stuart, President of FRB Mortgage Division, shared, “We are very pleased to make this announcement. Sarah’s proven industry knowledge and extensive experience will help the bank expand its reach and deliver value for our clients. She has built strong, trusted relationships with our FRB customers, and driven ...

Keith Rainwater, Chief Accounting Officer
Keith Rainwater, Chief Accounting Officer

First Reliance Bank announces that Keith Rainwater has been named Chief Accounting Officer. Rainwater, a Certified Public Accountant, brings more than 25 years of banking experience and an extensive accounting background to the bank’s team. At First Reliance, he will oversee the accounting operations and reporting functions.

Robert Haile, Senior Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of First Reliance, said, “We are pleased to welcome Keith to our team. His years of experience and leadership in the banking industry will continue to guide First Reliance as we become one of the best community banks in the Southeast.”

Keith previously served as the Chief Accounting Officer of FB Financial Corporation and FirstBank for the past two years in Nashville, Tennessee, after nearly 14 years at the SouthState Corp., which operates more than 280 offices in six Southeastern states. While there, he served as an executive vice president and its designated principal ...

How to Prevent Fake Check Scams

Fake check scams are occurring more than ever, and scammers are becoming increasingly clever with their tactics. Here's how a fake check scam typically works.

Someone you don't know sends you a check. It could be from any company. The person will ask you to deposit the check and send some of the money to them or another person in return. The scammer always has a reason to explain why you received the check and why you cannot keep all the money. If you deposit a fake check and send money to the scammer, you will be responsible for that money, which can sometimes amount to thousands of dollars!

No matter how convincing the scammer is or how legitimate the check looks, people don't send money to others without reason.  

Types of Fake Check Scams

Fake checks come in many forms. Business or personal checks, cashier's checks, and money orders ...

Rick Redden, First Reliance Bank Board Member
Rick Redden, First Reliance Bank Board Member

March 29, 2023 - Florence, S.C. — Rick Redden has been named to the First Reliance Bank Board of Directors. Rick has extensive experience working with banks, public and private companies, non-profits, and higher educational institutions to establish or enhance strategic plans, navigate industry change, and accelerate execution. He has assisted clients with acquisitions, major investments, capital structure decisions, and succession strategies.

Rick Saunders, Chief Executive Officer of First Reliance Bank, shared, “When searching for a board member, I always look for talented professionals with similar values about life, leadership, and business success. I am fortunate to have known Rick for quite some time, and he certainly meets every standard to be found in a successful bank board member. I look forward to working closely with Rick as we pursue “changing lives” across the Carolinas.”

Prior to consulting, Rick served as Commercial Executive, State President, Division Chief Risk Officer, and ...

David Parler, Residential Lending Specialist
David Parler, Residential Lending Specialist

David Parler has joined First Reliance Bank as Residential Lending Specialist and will be in the Columbia, SC, Main Street Branch. He will assist customers with their mortgage financing needs and identify the best bank products to meet their needs. 

President of Mortgage Services Chuck Stuart shared, “We value David’s dedication to helping customers achieve the dream of homeownership. His professionalism aligns with First Reliance Bank’s purpose of improving our customers’ lives.”

First Reliance Bank’s wide variety of mortgage choices offers flexibility for customers’ mortgage loan and financial needs. The bank offers competitive rates and flexible terms and conditions, providing the best solutions. 

David is a University of South Carolina graduate with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in civil engineering. In January 2021, after spending 16 years in engineering, manufacturing, and construction, he became a Licensed Mortgage Loan Originator in South Carolina. Additionally, David is licensed in North Carolina and Georgia. ...

Sign Up for e-Statements and Ditch the Filing Cabinet!

Monthly bank statements. Ah, yes, those papers that are coming your way every month. Consider, if you will, two individual types. An organized wizard with a filing cabinet (or cabinets) holding chronologically organized statements and another who cringes when trying to remember where last month’s statement is. Whomever you relate with, First Reliance Bank offers a banking service that works brilliantly.


Five Reasons Why e-Statements are Good.

  1. e-Statements are accessible days earlier than mailed statements.
  2. e-Statements reduce the risk of identity theft.
  3. There’s no need for shredding or saving stacks of paper.
  4. Saving paper and fuel is better for the environment and your pocketbook.
  5. e-Statements are totally free. That’s right, totally free.

There are numerous benefits when receiving e-Statements, but the best is how they save you money. Yes, that’s correct; you can say farewell to the monthly maintenance fee by signing up for e-Statements. The yield of ...

Fraud Warning Signs

Truth be told, today, there are many people out to scam you. Check fraud has spiked in the U.S., with thieves stealing money and selling bogus checks on the darknet. Mail-related check fraud is rising, as criminals can easily get their hands on your checks. As terrible as this is, knowing the warning signs can be a very good thing. Help begins at home.

  1. Unexpected charges.

If you do not check your accounts carefully, while this may be obvious, someone could buy something unexpected with your money. First Reliance customers whose accounts are enrolled in online banking or the bank’s mobile app simply need to turn on the alert settings to know when purchases are made.

  1. Checks that are significantly out of order on your bank statement.

When checking your monthly bank statement, you may not have written that check if you notice an oddball check number.

  1. Bills and statements ...

Five Financial Wellness Goal Ideas

With January in the rear window, it isn’t too late to look at your finances and set goals for 2023. There's no better time to take stock of your financial situation than now. So, how do you start? Here are five goals that may help.

  1. Get a financial check-up. This step is essential so you know where you stand. Add up your assets and subtract your liabilities. The result will show whether you're in the green (positive) or red (negative). Knowing the answer can help you plan your next year’s savings and spending.
  2. Create a spending plan. Itemize your monthly expenses and include your essential and non-essential items. Determine if you want to make it a priority to save money or eliminate debt.
  3. Conduct monthly financial meetings. Like you would as an employee, having monthly meetings with family members makes sense, especially regarding finances. If you have ...

Kevin Jones, Vice President, and Residential Lending Specialist
Kevin Jones, Vice President, and Residential Lending Specialist

Kevin Jones has joined First Reliance Bank as Vice President and Residential Lending Specialist and will be in the Greenville, SC, East Washington Street Branch. He will assist customers with their mortgage financing needs and identify the best bank products to meet their needs.

Rick Saunders, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Kevin is a top loan producer, and we’re thrilled to welcome him to our residential lending team. His extensive career in the mortgage lending industry will be invaluable to our clients and homebuyers across the state.”

Kevin commented, “I’m very excited to join the First Reliance Bank team and bring the strength of a regional bank to the residential mortgage market in Greenville. Greenville is an emerging market. Although I’ve lived in many places, Greenville has been home for the longest.  It is such a fun and dynamic community to live and work in. It is consistently growing, ...

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