Centric Bank will make the next step in its eight-year history this spring when it obtains a ticker symbol from the over-the-counter market.
Patti Husic, the Lower Paxton Township-based bank’s president and CEO, said Centric applied for the ticker symbol in mid-February and should know by early spring whether it will be accepted onto the stock-trading exchange.
It’s part of a growth strategy Husic said includes the raising of $5.1 million in capital — far out-pacing the $4 million goal — during the fourth quarter of 2014 and will include another capital round about mid-year that likely will have a goal of between $5 million and $6 million.
With that capital and its new status on the OTC market, Husic said, Centric, with $312 million in assets, is poised to be more of a player in the Central Pennsylvania banking scene.
“We just feel it’s the next step in our growth,” Husic said of moving to the OTC market. “It’s great news for us and the community.”
OTC banking in the midstate
The move follows two other midstate banks that joined the OTC market in the past 18 months: Integrity Bank in Camp Hill joined in August 2013, and York Traditions Bank in York Township joined in June.
Officials from both banks said the moves serve as notice to investors that the companies are serious about growth and provides more liquidity and options for shareholders.
Without a ticker symbol and entry onto the OTC market, shares of a company — such as Centric, currently — are traded privately and done by bank officials. Going to the OTC allows a shareholder to buy shares at a bid price instantly.
“Prior to trading on the OTC, if you wanted to buy or sell 500 shares, you would have called the bank,” said John D. Belcher, chief operating officer and chief financial officer at York Traditions. “We would have then begun the process to match buyers with sellers. It could have taken days or weeks.”
York Traditions has seen about 137,000 shares traded since it joined the OTC market in June, which Belcher said “was a lot more than we could have normally done ourselves matching individual buyers and sellers.”