Georgia bank expanding into Charleston market

A Georgia-based bank that recently acquired an Upstate lender is expanding to the Charleston market.

United Community Bank said Tuesday that it has opened a temporary office in a building near Leeds Avenue and Interstate 526 in North Charleston, and it plans to move to a permanent location in 2016. Its regional president is Dixon Woodward, who previously was president for the coastal market at TD Bank.

The newcomer is owned by United Community Banks Inc., a holding company based in Blairsville, Ga., with $9.4 billion in assets. The company’s lending subsidiary is one of the Southeast’s largest banks, operating 133 offices in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

In September, United Community completed its $240.5 million acquisition of Greenville-based Palmetto Bancshares Inc., owner of the Palmetto Bank and the third-largest financial institution headquartered in South Carolina.

The Georgia company joins several other out-of-state lenders that are establishing operations in the Charleston market. Others include: Alabama-based ServisFirst Bank; NewBridge Bank of Greensboro; Memphis-based First Tennessee Bank; Southern First Bank of Greenville; and Myrtle Beach’s South Atlantic Bank.

Contact John McDermott at 843-937-5572.