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A grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for new United Bank branch office at 517 9th St., was held Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, in Huntington.

United Bankshares Inc., the parent company of United Bank, has announced the completion of its acquisition of Carolina Financial Corp.

Carolina Financial is the parent company of CresCom Bank with $4.8 billion in assets, headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina.

United now has $25 billion in assets, with 230 offices in West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and the nation’s capital.

“After entering the Southeast in 2017, we have been looking forward to the opportunity to broaden our footprint in this region. This transaction marks the 32nd acquisition of the current administration and expands our presence in some of the most desirable banking markets in the nation,” Richard Adams, United’s chairman and CEO, said in a prepared statement regarding the acquisition.

“The merger brings together two of the best performing banking companies in the country, and uniquely positions our franchise as one of the most valuable regional banking companies in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.”

As a result of the acquisition, Jerold Rexroad, CEO of CARO, will join United’s board of directors.

“Uniting our two organizations, which share complementary cultures and values, is a unique value proposition for individuals and businesses in the region,” Rexroad said in the announcement. “United will provide the products and technology to meet our customers’ needs, while preserving relationship-based banking and local decision-making. This will create growth opportunities within our communities and a continued commitment to our employees, customers and shareholders.”

Prior to Carolina Financial, United more than doubled its size through three acquisitions in less than three and a half years. In January 2014, United closed its acquisition of Virginia Commerce Bancorp, followed by the November 2015 announcement of the Bank of Georgetown transaction which closed June 2016. In August 2016, United also announced the Cardinal Financial Corporation acquisition, which closed April 2017.

United Bankshares also announced its earnings for the first quarter of 2020 and that it has exceeded $20 billion in total assets.

Earnings for the first quarter of 2020 were $40.2 million as compared to earnings of $63.6 million for the first quarter of 2019.

The company said the lower amount of net income was driven primarily by a higher provision for loan losses resulting from an adverse future macroeconomic forecast as a result of the coronavirus pandemic under the new Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) accounting standard.

This was an industrywide issue that affected bank earnings nationwide. Diluted earnings per share were $0.40 for the first quarter of 2020 and $0.62 for the first quarter of 2019.

Meanwhile, United Bank celebrated its 181st anniversary in 2020, following a record-setting year for the company. In 2019, United achieved record earnings and increased dividends to its shareholders for the 46th consecutive year — a record only one other major banking company in the nation has been able to achieve, the company said.

Follow reporter Fred Pace at Facebook.com/FredPaceHD and via Twitter @FredPaceHD.