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News from First Reliance Bank

Jack McEleveen, Chief Credit OfficerOctober 16, 2017, Florence, S.C. — Jack McElveen has joined First Reliance Bank as Chief Credit Officer. As Chief Credit Officer, McElveen is responsible for the management and oversight of the bank’s loan portfolio.  He will oversee all credit administration functions and will provide direct supervision and accountability for Credit Administration, Loan Operations, Special Assets and Loss Mitigation & Recovery.

Mr. McElveen has over 30 years experience in credit administration in the banking industry. He began his career in the financial services industry with Bankers Trust of SC/NCNB.  Over the following years McElveen served in various credit administration roles with increased levels of responsibility with the last being Chief Credit Officer, EVP, of Horry County State Bank where he was responsible for management and oversight of the bank’s Credit Administration function.

McElveen is a graduate of Clemson University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Financial Management ...

By Jackie Stewart, American Banker magazine Published September 26 2017, 2∶29pm EDT First Reliance Bancshares in Florence, S.C., has agreed to buy Independence Bancshares in Greenville, S.C. The $435 million-asset First Reliance said in a press release Monday that it will pay about $11 million in cash for the $90 million-asset Independence. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.  First Reliance also announced that it had raised $25.1 million from a private placement of common and nonvoting preferred stock to various investors. The funds will help pay for the acquisition. First Reliance, led by CEO Rick Saunders, is set to expand into Greenville, S.C., with its latest acquisition. "The capital raise will support the bank's simultaneously announced acquisition of Independence and expand the company's footprint into the highly attractive” Greenville, S.C., market, Rick Saunders, First Reliance’s president and ...

September 25, 2017, Florence, S.C. – First Reliance Bank recently announced they have entered into an agreement to acquire Independence National Bank a locally-owned community bank headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina which has approximately $90.0 million in assets, $76.1 million in deposits and three branch locations. The acquisition is expected to close early in the first quarter of 2018. “We are a community bank buying a community bank with the goal to continue delivering the community banking model of developing strong relationships with our customers and providing an incredible experience.  We are passionate about our purpose ‘to make the lives of our customers better’.  We believe that if you achieve delivering your purpose and treat customers right, then financial results will follow.” said Rick Saunders, President and CEO. “We welcome our new customers and associates created by this merger and look forward to serving them with excellent customer ...

2017 AwardsJuly 6, 2017, Florence, S.C. – First Reliance Bank was recently named as one of the Best Places to Work in South Carolina. This twelfth annual program was created by SC Biz News in partnership with the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and Best Companies Group.

First Reliance is one of three companies throughout South Carolina who have received the award all twelve years since the program began.

This survey-and-awards program was designed to identify, recognize, and honor the best employers in the state of South Carolina, benefiting the state's economy, workforce, and businesses. The list is made up of 70 companies. First Reliance has been named one of this year’s Best Places to Work in South Carolina.

Companies from across the state entered the two-part survey process to determine the Best Places to Work in South Carolina. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company's ...

March 20, 2017, Florence, S.C.  – First Reliance Bank has announced the appointment of  J. Munford Scott, Jr. as Chairman of the Board.  Judge Scott has served as a Director of First Reliance Bank since January 2007 and as Chairman of the Compensation Committee. Judge J. Munford Scott, Jr. Scott is currently serving as Florence County Probate Judge. Before his election Judge Scott was an attorney employed with Turner, Padget, Graham, & Laney P.A. Mr. Scott practiced tax, probate and estate law in Florence and surrounding counties for over 40 years. He also served in the South Carolina House of Representatives 1978- 1979. “We are excited to have Munford Scott as our Board Chairman as he is an exceptional leader in the community and has been a very active director throughout his ten years on the board. Munford has been a great mentor to me both while on the board and prior to being ...

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 ...

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.”

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 of four speakers Tuesday at a Small Business Series ...

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 ...