A Mount Gilead institution for nearly a century has announced plans to cease operation and close its doors.
Mount Gilead Savings & Loan Association has been in business for more than 99 years, and president Albert Johnson says the board of directors is asking members to consider a plan to liquidate the Association’s assets, with a distribution of remaining assets to members and charitable organizations.
Included in the plans for closing the savings and loan is the donation of the existing lot and building to the Town of Mount Gilead for use as a new Town Hall. Albert Johnson presented the plan to town commissioners at their meeting last night.
“We have offered, under certain conditions, to donate our building to the Town of Mount Gilead,” Johnson said. “The town has expressed an interest in it. I hope they see fit to accept our gift, and we hope it serves the town well for a long time.”
Commissioners voted unanimously to accept the gift, with the understanding that it is contingent on the approval of the members of the savings and loan association. Members will vote on the plan at a meeting Nov. 7.
Johnson indicated a long series of changes in regulations and industry practices have led to the decision to recommend the closing.
“We’ve been in existence for 99-2/3 years,” said Johnson. “We’ve served this community well. We’re proud of our history, and we’re in very sound condition.”
“But times are changing, and the conditions under which we operate have changed to the point that there’s really not a place for us in this modern world. We can’t compete on loan rates with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. We can’t grow, and we’re too small to carry on the activities that are required by our government now. They say the small (bank) has to do the same things as the large one, and we simply can’t.”
It appears this would be the first time in North Carolina history that a financially-sound savings and loan would dissolve. Data indicates most institutions of this type either sell their operation to another institution or are forced into closure due to insolvency.
Documents filed with the office of the North Carolina Secretary of State show the Mount Gilead Savings & Loan Association organized on Feb. 26, 1914.
According to a June 30 filing with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Association holds more than $11.1 million in assets, with net loans and leases amounting to just over $7.9 million. The Association reported four full-time employees.