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First Coast Community Bank acquires Synovus SBA operations

First Coast Community Bank ( is taking over Small Business Administration

Chip Townsend

Chip Townsend

 (SBA) loan servicing for its parent company Synovus Financial Corp. and all 30 Synovus affiliate banks across Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee, according to Chip Townsend, president, chairman, and CEO of the Fernandina Beach, Fla. bank.


First Coast Community Bank has consistently reigned as the Northeast Florida bank by lending the most SBA total dollars, according to published records. The North Florida SBA office has recognized the bank as a top lender with several awards and recognition including SBA Express lender status.

In 2002, First Coast Community Bank first began SBA loan servicing for some of Synovus’ affiliates, including the Synovus flagship affiliate bank. Over the years, other Synovus affiliates have put their SBA servicing with First Coast Community Bank. This latest and final expansion brings all Synovus affiliate SBA servicing operations to First Coast Community Bank’s Fernandina Beach branch. The bank’s servicing portfolio has grown from $111 million to $202 million.

“We are pleased to be recognized by Synovus for our SBA lending expertise with this additional SBA servicing business,” said Townsend. “We are very pleased with our SBA lending track record both in lending at First Coast Community Bank and servicing for affiliate banks. Over the years, we have committed significant resources to SBA lending, and as a result we have been able to help small businesses in the communities we serve with significant lending resources. We have been recognized many times for being a market leader in SBA lending, but the true reward is making a difference one small business at a time.”

The bank converted seven affiliates in July and converted two of the three largest affiliate’s SBA portfolios in July and August respectively.

First Coast Community Bank currently has 50 employees and recently added two full-time employment positions to handle the additional workflow from this Synovus SBA servicing expansion. As SBA lending demand increases, the bank will hire additional staff.

In fact, SBA loan demand has been good for First Coast Community Bank.

The federal stimulus package included features that were good for lenders and borrowers, Townsend says. As a result First Coast Community Bank enjoys greatly increased demand.

“This economic climate is hitting small businesses the hardest, according to news reports,” Townsend said. “Small businesses are looking for financing for payroll and equipment in a tight credit market. At the same time, banks including our affiliates are looking for more cost efficient ways to service their SBA loans. When you have a sister bank with unique SBA capabilities, it makes sense to use their expertise and scalability instead of managing it on your own.

Founded in 1987, First Coast Community Bank has branches in Fernandina Beach and Yulee, Fla. It has 30 affiliate banks and 330 branch offices through its parent company, Synovus Financial Corp.

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