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United Community Bank opening first Midlands branches

Banking & Finance
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United Community Bank is opening its first branch locations in the Midlands on Forest Drive in Columbia and on Sunset Boulevard in Lexington.

The Georgia-headquartered bank, which has executive offices in Greenville and branches in the Upstate, Lowcountry and Grand Strand, established a regional leadership and commercial team in the Midlands last year. The full-service branches, at 4018 Forest Drive and 5346 Sunset Blvd., will open Dec. 14.

“Our team has done an incredible job growing our customer base in the area over the past 15 months, and with that development, we recognized a real opportunity to add branch locations to better serve our customers’ daily needs,” Rich Bradshaw, United Community Bank chief banking officer, said in a news release.

United, which completed a merger with Three Shores Bancorporation Inc. in July, has more than 160 branches across Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Florida. Both Midlands branches are former Southern First Bank locations.

“We could not be more excited to serve our customers in these ideally located offices,” Shannon Stephens, Midlands president, said. “We’re pleased to expand our capabilities for our current customers and look forward to welcoming new customers into our family as well.”

Veteran Columbia banker Morgan Leath has joined United as regional banking manager and will oversee operations at both locations. Erica Smith, with more than 10 years’ of banking experience in Lexington, will serve as branch manager for the Sunset Boulevard location.

“I am thrilled to join the United team and be a part of building our brand in this market,” Leath said. “While branch operations have looked different this year, I know how much customers value having access to our bankers as a resource for their financial needs.”

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