Closings: Schools, churches, day-cares and businesses

Customers React To Truman Bank Shutdown

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - Simmons First National Bank took over Truman Bank Saturday morning. Confused customers had a lot of questions for bank employees.

Michael Harrell rushed to a Truman Bank branch in Normandy Saturday morning after hearing the FDIC shut the bank down Friday afternoon.

"Somebody called me on the phone and told me that the bank was closed. I wanted to know if I could get any of my money out of there."

He was relieved to find the full parking lot and open doors. But, his excitement ended there.

"They never gave me a business loan," Harrell owns a convenience store nearby. " I've been dealing with them over 20 years and I've never been able to get a business loan from them."

David Bartlett is chief operation officer of the Simmons First National Corporation the company that bought Truman. He promised the same access to money as before and maybe even more access to loans.

"We love to do loans," Bartlett said, "That's our primary goal for top-line revenue is to increase loans, and we are going to be trying to take advantage of that opportunity."

He offered some reassurance to St. Louis customers.

"Our philosophy is community banking, with local people, running local banks, and supporting our local communities."

However, Simmons First is based in Arkansas, and some of the company`s tellers are now working in St. Louis. Bartlett admitted positions will be cut, but that the company would offer displaced workers new jobs.

"Or certainly, being respectful of that transition out of Simmons First," Bartlett said.

As for the customers, Bartlett said no one has pulled their money. Harrell gave a very simple reason why he never pulled his money from Truman, despite never getting that business loan.

"It's convenient for me, because I stay in the neighborhood," he laughed. "Why would I go somewhere else?"

Simmons is banking that convenience will keep Harrell's business for another 20 years.

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