Two local banks ask regulators for merger

Inter National Bank is asking state and federal banking regulators to allow it to merge with San Antonio-based Vantage Bank Texas.

Both financial institutions are owned by the Collins family, which initially invested in South Texas in 1985 when it founded Inter National Bank. That institution currently operates 19 banking centers throughout the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo and El Paso.

The family sold Inter National Bank to Grupo Financiero Banorte of Mexico in 2006, but repurchased it in 2017.

In 2008, the Collins Family Trusts also invested in Vantage Bank Texas, expanding it to the San Antonio market. That institution now has six centers in San Antonio, Laredo, McAllen, Hondo and Refugio.

“This merger is the logical next step that creates substantial value for customers and employees of both Inter National Bank and Vantage Bank Texas,” said Jim Collins, trustee of the Collins Family Trusts. “Our customers will continue to enjoy the benefits of local decision making, while gaining access to an expanded product set and the convenience of a larger branch network throughout South Texas.”

If regulators approve the merger, the banks will come together under the Vantage Bank Texas name. As such, the new bank will offer the international products and services that Inter National Bank currently offers to Vantage clients located outside border communities.

“Our customers are hard-working people who deserve the very best banking experience available,” Vantage Bank Texas President and CEO Guy Bodine said. “Inter National Bank has a long history of serving the international market and we are pleased to be able to share those international products and services with our Vantage Bank Texas customers.”

The combined bank, which will operate 24 centers throughout its footprint, is estimated to have $1.5 billion in net loans outstanding, $1.9 billion in total assets, $1.6 billion in deposits, and capital levels that will support future growth, according to a joint news release from the institutions.

This means the new bank will have a larger lending limit and will offer clients more banking locations, the release stated.

The institutions hope to get the green light from the Federal Reserve and the Texas Department of Banking sometime before September. If they obtain the approval, the banks will continue to operate under their current names until December, when a planned conversion will allow the banks to operate as a single, integrated business.

“The leadership of the combined organization will be comprised of members from the existing executive leadership teams of both banks,” the document further read. “Specifics will be announced at a later date.”

The release did not specify whether the merger would cost current employees their jobs. Instead read “…it is our intention to place as many of our current associates as we can in meaningful roles in the combined organization.”

Still, banking officials assured the new institution would continue to be involved in community efforts.

“You will find us volunteering at local schools, speaking at events, and serving at various leadership levels of local and state organizations,” the release concluded.