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First Palmetto maintains annual dividend
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Holding fast to conservative policies is allowing First Palmetto Savings Bank to declare an annual dividend of $2,500 per share of common stock. That, said President Samuel R. Small, is something many banks have not been able to do lately.

“Because of the last several years of terrible economic climate and financial concerns, we are very fortunate to declare (this) dividend,” Small said. “It’s because of conservative policies that we’ve been able to maintain profitability … we’re one of a very few institutions that have been able to do that.”

Small said the $2,500 dividend approved by the board of directors of First Palmetto’s parent company, First Palmetto Financial Corporation, is the same as that for 2010. He spoke of policies primarily focused on the bank’s lending practices.

“We looked at the types of loans and people who borrowed money from us. We maintained conservative loan to value ratios and we’ve not gone outside the market we serve.

“We do not buy loans from markets we’re not familiar with,” Small said.

First Palmetto Savings Bank, which Small said has assets of approximately $630 million, was founded in 1904. The financial corporation began selling stock in 1986. First Palmetto has more than 20 offices throughout the Midlands, Pee Dee and Lowcountry.

Small said the dividend will officially be “of record” as of July 29 and payable Aug. 15.