ROCHELLE — Having finalized the arrangements in early June, bank holding company ST Hldgs recently announced the acquisition of Wilcox County bank Rochelle State Bank, as well as its plans for some changes in the bank's operations.

Operating out of Orlando, Fla., ST Hldgs aims to invest in community banks across the southern United States, helping them advance and continue to provide service to customers, bank representatives said in a statement. Its interest in Rochelle State Bank reportedly stemmed from the community surrounding it.

"We have worked with a number of banks across the southeast and discussed with a number of banks," said Bryan Wilder, Rochelle State Bank's new executive vice president. "And we just felt that Rochelle State Bank was a good fit for what we're trying to do, to really get with the community and work with the community. It just naturally worked out for us to move into Wilcox County and purchase Rochelle State Bank."

The bank will retain all of its current staff, save the implementation of a new leadership team, including Wilder and new President Len Davenport, and its standard offerings, such as commercial, agricultural and real estate loans and checking accounts, will still be provided.

With the investment of ST Hldgs, Rochelle State Bank will see more efforts put into the implementation of digital and online banking options, as well as the development of a mobile banking option for its customers.

ST Hldgs hopes to provide the same level of service and sense of community to its customers after the acquisition and has already begun getting involved in the new community of Wilcox County. In addition to working with a variety of schools in the area, Rochelle State Bank is also currently open for hiring in their community.

Wilder said he hopes the bank and ST Hldgs will provide services to nearby counties, citing that although the company has a footprint in Tift, Crisp and Turner County, he hopes to expand the reach of service as far as possible.

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