The Bank of South Carolina Corp. stockholders are about to get more skin in the game.
The Charleston-based bank owner last week announced a 10 percent dividend payable in common stock to shareholders of record on Sept, 10. The onetime equity distribution goes out Sept. 24.
The company is issuing the extra stock because it has "performed well during the recession," said Hugh C. Lane Jr., president and chief executive officer.
"I'm glad were in the position to do it," he said Friday.
The move will increase the number of the shares outstanding of the Nasdaq issue by about 402,221. The stock rose slightly Friday to close at $10.50. The four-branch bank owner's quarterly cash dividend will remain at 10 cents a share, or 4 percent annually.
The company halted stockholder distributions for a six-month stretch starting last September, when it was just one shy of its 80th consecutive quarterly payout. That allowed the company to conserve cash and build up its reserves.
Known for its conservative, slow-growth approach, the bank's loan-loss fund is up compared with mid-2009, but it remains extremely low by industry standards at just 1.5 percent of all loans at June 30.
Business is looking up, Lane said. "We are seeing encouraging changes in our deposit balances that indicate an improving local economy," he said. "We are well-positioned for the recovery and what the 'new normal' will be in the future."
Numbers like that helped the company earn its way onto U.S. Banker magazine's annual list of the top 200 small community lenders in the country this year.
The company took the 78th spot in the latest ranking, which is limited to U.S. community banks and thrifts with assets of less than $2 billion as of Dec. 31. The list was compiled using the three-year average return on equity. Bank of South Carolina posted an 11.1 percent ROE, the highest among its peers statewide. It marked the second year in a row it made the list.
Reach John McDermott at 937-5572 or email@example.com.