This summary highlights selected information contained in greater detail elsewhere in this prospectus or in the materials incorporated by reference into this prospectus. This summary does not contain all of the information you should consider before investing in our common stock. You should read this entire prospectus carefully, especially the risks of investing in our common stock discussed under Risk Factors.
History and General Information. The Company was incorporated under the laws of the State of North Carolina on February 29, 2016, at the direction of the board of directors of the Bank. The Company was formed for the purpose of serving as the bank holding company of the Bank. Effective August 16, 2016, shareholders of the Bank exchanged all of the Banks outstanding shares of common stock for shares of the Companys common stock on a one-for-one basis, thereby making the Company the Banks sole shareholder and bank holding company. The Company is registered under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (BHCA) and is subject to the supervision and regulation of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the FRB). The Company currently has no operations and conducts no business on its own other than owning the Bank.
The Bank is a North Carolina-chartered commercial bank with its deposits insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) up to applicable limits. The Bank is not a member of the Federal Reserve System. The Bank was incorporated on December 5, 2000, and began operations on December 8, 2000. On October 15, 2009, the Bank acquired Carolina Commerce Bank, Gastonia, North Carolina (Carolina Commerce), with Carolina Commerce being merged into the Bank.
At December 31, 2017, the Company had consolidated total assets of approximately $406.6 million, total deposits of approximately $340.7 million, and shareholders equity of approximately $29.1 million.
The principal executive offices of the Company are located at 901 East Main Street, Lincolnton, North Carolina 28092. Our telephone number is (704) 735-1104 and our website address is http://www.carolinatrust.com. The information on our website is not part of this prospectus and the reference to our website address does not constitute incorporation by reference of any information on our website into this prospectus.
Business of the Bank. The primary purpose of the Bank is to serve the banking needs of individuals and businesses in Lincoln, Catawba, Gaston, Iredell, and Rutherford Counties and surrounding areas, with all decisions and product offerings to be in the best interest of its customers while providing an acceptable return for the shareholders of the Company. The Bank offers a wide range of banking services including checking and savings accounts; commercial, installment, mortgage, and personal loans; safe deposit boxes; and other associated services. The Bank serves its customers through a network of automated teller machines and nine full-service offices located in the following North Carolina cities: Lincolnton (2), Denver, Forest City, Gastonia, Hickory, Lake Lure, Mooresville, and Vale. In addition, the Bank operates a loan production office in Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina.
Market Area. The Banks market area is primarily located in the Piedmont region and extends into the Mountain region of North Carolina, with its branch footprint located to the west and north of Charlotte, North Carolina. While Lincoln and Rutherford Counties are largely rural, all or some portion of each of Lincoln, Gaston, Iredell, and Rowan Counties are located in the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC metropolitan statistical area, which has seen significant growth and expansion over the last decade. The Banks market areas are served by or in close proximity to U.S. Interstate Highways 40, 85 and 77, and the Charlotte Douglas International Airport is accessible by its population base.
We have not yet completed preparation of our consolidated financial statements for the three months ended March 31, 2018, but based on information available to date, as of March 31, 2018, we expect to see gross loans increase by at least 4% over gross loans as of December 31, 2017. We also expect to see total deposits as of March 31, 2018 increase by at least 8% over total deposits as of December 31, 2017. We expect to report our first quarter 2018 results by April 30, 2018.
The preliminary financial results above are based on our estimates as of the date of this prospectus and are subject to the completion of our procedures for finalizing our financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2018. Accordingly, these results may change, and those changes may be material.