Beaufort News

BNC snafu will not affect operations in SC

Statewide operations at Bank of North Carolina branches will continue as usual, despite the S.C. secretary of state's decision more than three months ago to revoke its certificate of authority.

BNC, which operates six branches statewide, including two on Hilton Head Island, is trying to restore its license to operate in the state, according to Tommy Bouchette, S.C. president of BNC.

"We're doing everything necessary to ensure our compliance," Bouchette said. "In the meantime, there will be no implications on our South Carolina branches whatsoever."

An apparent clerical error -- the bank failed to make a routine $60 filing fee with the state Department of Revenue -- prompted the June 17 decision to dissolve BNC operations in the state.

According to Samantha Cheek, a spokeswoman for the Revenue Department, corporations always receive advance notice of the reasons for an impending revocation of authority.

But Bouchette maintained that BNC's corporate headquarters in High Point, N.C., never received any warnings.

"We're not sure what happened," Bouchette said. "To the best of their knowledge, they have no record of receiving anything."

The dissolution could affect the bank's abilities to foreclose on properties and conduct other business in South Carolina's courts.

To regain its good standing, BNC simply needs to file appropriate paperwork with the Revenue Department -- a process it's already begun, said Bouchette -- and apply to the secretary of state for reinstatement. Such a reinstatement would be retroactive to the date the bank's certificate of authority was revoked, effectively rendering the revocation moot.

BNC acquired its South Carolina locations in April 2010 when it purchased Beach First National Bank, which had been shut down by the FDIC.

The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News contributed to this report.

Follow reporter Grant Martin at twitter.com/LowCoBiz.

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