First Community Bancshares doesn't play second fiddle to other area banks. The firm is the holding company for First Community Bank, which serves communities in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Through some 75 branches, the bank provides traditional services such as checking and savings accounts, CDs, and credit cards. The bank is mainly a real estate lender, with residential loans and mortgages accounting for about half of its portfolio and commercial loans accounting for most of the remainder. First Community Bancshares also provides insurance through subsidiary Greenpoint Insurance and investment advisory services through First Community Wealth Management.
Over the past few years, First Community has made a number of acquisitions across its various business lines. Its nonbanking purchases include Investment Planning Consultants, GreenPoint Insurance, and Carr & Hyde Insurance. The company also added five North Carolina banking locations with its acquisitions of Coddle Creek Financial (parent of Mooresville Savings Bank) and TriStone. After slowing its acquisition activity during the economic downturn, First Community resumed in 2012, buying Peoples Bank of Virginia, which added four branches in the Richmond area. The company also acquired the failed Waccamaw Bank in a FDIC-facilitated transaction. That deal brought in 16 branches in North Carolina.
The downturn hit First Community hard in 2009. That year it reported more than $90 million in losses related to nonperforming assets and loans. The company rebounded in 2010 with earning levels near those of previous years, but in 2011 First Community saw its revenues shrink by some 10% to $123 million. Profits also slipped some 8% to $20 million, as both interest and noninterest earnings went down. Construction and development levels in the markets it serves are still in decline, and as a result, lending remains a challenge. Regulatory limits to banking fees have had relatively little impact on First Community, though, as its customers increasingly turn to card-based payments; the company's revenues from overdraft fees and debit card interchange income rose in 2011. – less