First National Bank in Graham, along with seven other branches owned by First Graham Bancorp, Inc., will be going through some changes in the near future. First Graham Bancorp has decided to merge all three of its charters into one state charter under the name Ciera Bank.

Among other factors, this means that First National Bank in Graham, First Security Bank in Flower Mound, and West Side Bank & Trust in Fort Worth will all be run by the same board of directors headquartered here in Graham.

First Graham Bancorp is part of a trend in Texas involving banks switching from a national to a state charter. One reason for this trend lies in a parity provision of the Constitution of the State of Texas, Article XVI, Section 16(c), stating that “a Texas chartered state bank has the same rights and privileges that are or may be granted to national banks of the United States domiciled in this State.”

Chuck Rosebrough is the Chairman of the Board of First Graham Bancorp, and he said that it does make more sense to be under the Texas Department of Banking.

 “Frost Bank, in February of 2012, they're $20 billion in total assets,” Rosebrough said. “They made that conversion from national to state. They're the biggest that have done that. And there's been a pretty strong movement from national to state banks.”

Read the entire story in this weekend's edition of the Graham Leader.