Oconee Federal Financial set to merge with Mutual Savings Bank in asset boost deal


Oconee Federal Financial Corp., the holding company for Oconee Federal Savings and Loan Association, and its subsidiary Oconee Federal, MHC, have announced an agreement to merge with Mutual Savings Bank, a federally-chartered mutual savings bank.

Upon the merger, Mutual Savings Bank will be absorbed by Oconee Federal Financial, resulting in an increase in the company’s consolidated assets from $588 million to an estimated $633 million.

In the wake of the merger, Mutual Savings Bank’s office will transition into a branch of Oconee Federal Financial. Depositors of Mutual Savings Bank will become depositors of Oconee Federal Financial and members of the MHC. As part of the agreement, Oconee Federal Financial will issue shares of its common stock to the MHC equivalent to the fair value of Mutual Savings Bank, as determined by an independent appraisal. These shares are expected to be issued concurrently with the completion of the merger.

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In a bid to foster local governance, Oconee Federal Financial will establish an Advisory Board, offering membership to current directors of Mutual Savings Bank. Moreover, the Oconee Federal Foundation will support charitable grants in Hartsville, South Carolina, based on recommendations from the advisory board.

The proposed merger is predicted to have an immediate positive impact on the company’s earnings in 2023 and subsequent years and improve its tangible book value per share. After the merger’s completion, Oconee Federal Financial’s capital ratios are projected to continue exceeding the “well capitalized” regulatory standards.

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Curtis Evatt, CEO of Oconee Federal, expressed excitement about the merger, highlighting Mutual Savings Bank’s community-oriented approach to banking. Thomas Goodson, Chairman of Mutual Savings Bank, underscored the merger’s potential to enhance customer service and convenience, while maintaining the community bank culture.

The merger, which is contingent upon approval by Mutual Savings Bank’s depositors and regulatory bodies, is expected to finalize in late 2023 or early 2024.

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