Citizens National Bank (CNB) is a $1.4 Billion dollar bank located in Mississippi with 26 branches. They manage a 900 million dollar loan portfolio. CNB is a community bank that specializes in all types of lending. After 130 years of family ownership, they know the Mississippi market inside and out. “The power of local” is more than a slogan, it is a reality for CNB.
How did Citizen’s National Bank find a strategic appraisal partner?
Post-recession and interagency guideline changes, CNB knew they needed a strategic appraisal partner to help value properties over the $1 Million dollar mark. We sat down with Chief Credit Officer, Chip Hines, to hear about how their processes and standards have changed after working with MountainSeed.
Chip works to oversee the management of this large loan portfolio and this can include anything from commercial and residential underwriting to managing special assets. As all CCO’s, he has a dotted line relationship to the appraisal review department by helping to resolve issues that might arise.
“Since we are in the risk business, it can be challenging to balance taking on new growth, and avoiding taking on too much risk.” Chip helps to maintain a balance of a strong credit culture, especially in the diverse Mississippi market, which ranges from economic hubs to rural communities.
After the heavily regulated environment from Dodd-Frank, TRID, and now working through the new CECL loan loss methodology, they were facing major factors impacting small banks. With these updates from the appraisal interagency guidelines, CNB needed a strategic partner for their review process as well as an independent partner to remain compliant. Chip explains “we were having a difficult time finding that level of expertise internally, so that’s when we found MountainSeed.”
“MountainSeed was able to offer an independent expert opinion during the review process for a good value and reasonable timeline, all while meeting customer expectations.”
Now when we get a $1 Million+ transaction, we can depend on MountainSeed to review the appraisal and ensure we aren’t taking on too risky of a transaction. When Chip was evaluating the right AMC for CNB, MountainSeed had a higher quality of work. He even shared that the OCC stands behind MountainSeed’s work. With the assurance of knowing the appraisals are correct and the ability to speak with an appraiser if you ever disagree is a huge benefit to our bank. “Quality is a staple for us, and it’s built into our process,” Chip explained and MountainSeed just complimented the way our bank operates.