After more than 100 years as First National Bank and Trust, the locally owned and operated institution has announced it will change its name to Queensborough National Bank & Trust Company, effective Jan. 1, 2006.
Company president Bill Easterlin said the name change is an effort to alleviate confusion with other banks using the name "First" as the company continues to expand into other markets.
"There are over 30 'First National' banks in Georgia and as we continue to grow and approach other markets, we've found the name issue to be confusing," Mr. Easterlin said. "We're a unique bank and we feel our name should reflect that."
"Queensborough" is the name of First National's parent company. That name comes from a mid-1700 settlement on the Ogeechee River, just south of present day Louisville, where First National Bank and Trust began.
Currently, First National Bank operates 21 branches from Augusta to Savannah. Another branch will open in the Augusta area later this year.
"We decided to adopt our parent company's name because, as we opened new branches in other Georgia counties, we found that too many other banks had the same 'First' name - literally," said Frank Easterlin, Chairman of the Board. "Unfortunately, the word 'First' has become overused."
Bill Easterlin is quick to point out the name change will be the only difference customers will notice.
He explained there will be no changes to account numbers or current services provided. There is also no need to renew credit, debit or ATM cards or checks before their regularly scheduled expiration date. Bill Easterlin said the company's new logo will appear on checks and cards as they are ordered.
Often times, names changes come when banks merge or are acquired by another, but that's not the case this time, Bill Easterlin said.
"This is a name change only - we're still the same bank and the same people, offering the same services our customers have come to expect. This is a very good thing," he said.
"We have experienced more than 100 years of successful growth as a result of staying true to our strengths - being a true, community bank and offering the best banking products for our customers. Those strengths have made us unique so our name should be unique, as well," added Frank Easterlin.