Banking

Former Carolina Panther takes large stake in struggling bank

Movement Mortgage CEO Casey Crawford is pictured here at the company’s Indian Land, S.C., headquarters in July 2016.
Movement Mortgage CEO Casey Crawford is pictured here at the company’s Indian Land, S.C., headquarters in July 2016. WWW.MICZEKPHOTO.COM

Casey Crawford, chief executive of Indian Land, S.C.-based Movement Mortgage and a former Carolina Panthers player, announced his latest business foray Tuesday: banking.

Crawford said he has become majority shareholder of the struggling First State Bank of Danville, Va., which lost about $1.8 million in the first six months of this year. According to an announcement about the deal, Crawford has pumped capital into the lender and renamed it Movement Bank, for which he will serve as chairman of the board of directors.

It marks another financial services venture for Crawford, a former Panthers tight end who launched his fast-growing mortgage company in 2008. Tuesday’s announcement said Movement Bank will be a community lender “focused on loving and serving people,” with plans to expand by opening loan-production offices across Virginia and the Carolinas. One of the offices opened today in Ballantyne.

While Crawford will lead the bank’s board as chairman, the lender will be owned and operated independently of Movement Mortgage, according to the announcement. Day-to-day operations will be handled by the bank’s staff, which includes CEO Tom Smith.

Crawford became majority shareholder of First State in June, the announcement said. The bank, which dates to 1919 and has $39.5 million in assets, has been posting mounting losses, according to federal disclosures. Last year, it recorded a loss of $465,000.

A spokesman for Crawford confirmed the losses but said Crawford was not immediately available for comment.

The investment comes as Crawford continues to grow his mortgage company, which has roughly 4,300 employees across the U.S., including about 800 at its South Carolina headquarters, just south of Ballantyne. Movement Mortgage broke ground in March 2015 on the headquarters, built with the aid of $53 million in incentives from South Carolina.

Deon Roberts: 704-358-5248, @DeonERoberts

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