A brand new corporate identity will be on display Friday afternoon at two local SCBT branches, just days before the lender officially switches to the South State Bank name.

The signage is scheduled to change over at around 12:30 p.m. at the James Island office at 315 Folly Road and then at 2:30 p.m. at 1032 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. in Mount Pleasant.

Other SCBT branches will be converted over the weekend.

In all, five banks in three states that are owned by Columbia-based First Financial Holdings Inc. are changing over to the South State brand in the next few weeks.

Four of those, including SCBT, are expected to make the switch by the time they open for business on Monday morning.

First Federal of Charleston's branches will be rebranded on July 21.

Afterward, South State will have more than 135 offices in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.

Officials decided to merge the five banks into one after the owner of SCBT bought the owner of First Federal nearly a year ago. The $447 million deal was the largest merger ever between two South Carolina-based banks.

At First Federal, the upcoming name change will mark the end of a household bank brand that goes back to its opening on Broad Street in downtown Charleston nearly 80 years ago.

It also reflects the newly unified bank's ambitions to expand into a regional lending powerhouse in South Carolina and beyond.

The parent company is investing about $20 million in improvements as it integrates the indiviual lending units, which include NCBT of Charlotte, Community Bank & Trust of Cornelia, Ga., and The Savannah Bank of coastal Georgia.

Also, their parent company said it is changing its name to South State Corp. and its Nasdaq stock symbol to SSB from SCBT, effective Monday.

Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.