Real-Estate

Awaiting its own merger, Virginia community bank invests in mortgage firm

A Fairfax, Virginia, community bank that is merging with a larger regional competitor has sweetened the deal by taking a minority stake in a local mortgage lender.

The $2 billion-asset FVC Bankcorp disclosed the investment in Atlantic Coast Mortgage in an 8-K report filed late Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It did not say what it paid for the 29% share.

FVC already provides Atlantic Coast with a mortgage warehouse lending facility. A closer relationship will help the bank — which focuses largely on commercial real estate lending — broaden its mortgage product set, Chairman and CEO David Pijor said Tuesday in a press release.

In July, FVC agreed to a merger of equals with Blue Ridge Bankshares in Charlottesville, Virginia. The deal, valued at $307 million, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021 or the first quarter of 2022.

On June 30, FVC held mortgage loans totaling $156.6 million, accounting for 11% of its $1.42 billion loan portfolio.

“This partnership will allow us to provide competitive residential mortgage products to our customers, while increasing our financial opportunities and expanding our revenue mix,” Pijor, who had not responded to a request for comment by publication time, said in the press release.

Founded in 2011, Atlantic Coast operates 12 branches in Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland and South Carolina.

FVC’s deal with Atlantic Coast comes four months after the $9.3 billion-asset Veritex Holdings in Dallas acquired a 49% stake in Thrive Mortgage, a residential lender in Georgetown, Texas.

While refinance transactions are expected to drop sharply in 2022, new-home purchases are expected to continue at record levels, approaching $1.8 trillion, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s most recent forecast.


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