Harmony Bank and Texas Brand Bank merge to become a community-focused lender

Harmony Bank will merge with Texas Brand Bank of Dallas to form a state-chartered bank with more than $700 million in assets and 11 offices in five North Texas counties.

Financial institutions announced the deal on Thursday, pending shareholder and regulatory approval. It is expected to close early next year.

The combined company will operate under the Harmony Bank brand, with offices in Dallas, Ellis, Henderson, Kaufman and Navarro counties.

Kemp-based Harmony Bank is run by former Texas state senator John J. Carona, whose family acquired it in 2015 when it was known as First National Bank. Carona’s 24-year legislative career ended the previous year when he was defeated in a Republican primary election by Dallas real estate developer Don Huffines.

In July, Carona’s company bought First State Bank of Rice, merged it with First National and renamed the company Harmony Bank. This gave him new locations in Waxahachie, Ennis, Italy and Rice and increased his assets to $350 million.

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Harmony has its roots in 1901, when local farmers, ranchers and businessmen began offering financial services in Kemp, a Kaufman County community of approximately 1,100 people today.

“The merger with Harmony Bank is synergistic for our teams, and we look forward to the benefits it will bring to our customers,” Texas Brand Bank President Edward B. Tomlinson II said in a statement. “We are committed to maintaining the excellent personalized service that our customers have come to expect from us.”

Founded in Dallas in 2005, Texas Brand Bank was created to primarily serve small businesses, with a loan limit of $7 million. It has grown to $340 million in assets with banking centers in the Uptown, Deep Ellum, Cedars/Southside and Bishop Arts neighborhoods of Dallas and an auto bank in Garland.

Texas Brand Bank CEO William E. Lowe will lead Harmony Bank. He said the merger will allow banks to “double our lending limit and gain additional digital banking options, giving us the ability to provide better service to current and future customers.”

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