The Bank Slate


Home in Ark. saw ‘mini mutiny’ of Happy State employees

Home BancShares in Conway, Ark., suffered from a “mini mutiny” of employees in some of the markets it entered through the April acquisition of Happy State Bancshares in Amarillo, Texas. 

That assessment came from Johnny Allison, Home’s chairman, during the $24.3 billion-asset company’s second-quarter earnings call. 

“We did not see a very warm welcome,” Allison said during the call. “In hindsight, the moves appeared to be in the works for some time. Most employees left and went to some small Texas bank that I had never heard of.” 

Allison did not disclose how many people left, though he said the departures were “unprofessional … without any notice.” Instead, he spun the defections as a “blessing in disguise” for his bank. 

“Even with the temporary hardship that it created, it also created many opportunities for those that stayed and the many new hires who stepped up and took over with lots of enthusiasm and excitement,” he said. 

Allison vowed to compete aggressively against the bankers who left. 

“This will cost a little more money over the next couple of years as we use the strength of Home’s powerful balance sheet to compete very competitively in that market,” Allison said.

“This should be a lot of fun for everybody who stayed,” he said with a pronounced laugh. “I look at this as an unfortunate situation that is in the rearview mirror except for the competition for loans.”

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