First NBC Bank of New Orleans is entering the Florida market after reaching an agreement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to buy a failed bank in Crestview.

First NBC will take over the First National Bank of Crestview, which closed and was placed into receivership Friday.

Ashton J. Ryan Jr., president and CEO, said First NBC had been looking to move into the Florida Panhandle for a while. Crestview is the county seat of Okaloosa County and is located just north of Destin and Fort Walton Beach, cities that are popular spots for south Louisiana tourists.

“There’s a natural link-up with New Orleans and Baton Rouge,” Ryan said, noting that “a lot” of residents in both cities own property in Destin and Fort Walton Beach. “This is too good of a market for us not to be in.”

As of Sept. 30, the Crestview bank had about $79.7 million in total assets and $78.6 million in total deposits.

First NBC will not acquire any of the real estate owned by the Florida bank.

First NBC will assume all of its deposits and buy about $62 million of the failed bank’s assets, including its performing loans, substantially all of its investment securities portfolio and its three branches.

The FDIC will retain the remaining assets.

The three Crestview branches will reopen as First NBC locations on Tuesday. Plans are to use the Crestview branches as a way of expanding further into Florida, Ryan said.

The failure of First National Bank is expected to cost the federal deposit insurance fund $4.4 million. It’s the first bank to fail in 2015. In 2014, 18 banks failed. U.S. bank failures have been declining since peaking at 157 in 2010 following the financial crisis and the Great Recession.

The acquisition lifts First NBC to 35 full-service banking offices and a loan production office in Gulfport, Mississippi. As of September, the bank had just under 500 employees. First NBC’s Louisiana operations include eight branches in Orleans, eight in Jefferson, 10 in St. Tammany, four in Tangipahoa and one each in Livingston and Washington parishes.

First NBC formed in March 2006 and took a name similar to First National Bank of Commerce, a prominent New Orleans bank that was acquired by Bank One in 1998. The bank grew rapidly because of its familiar name and an aggressive acquisition strategy. At the end of December, First NBC announced it had reached a deal to acquire the holding company of New Orleans-based State-Investors Bank. That $51 million deal is expected to close in the second quarter, pending regulatory and shareholder approval.

“We don’t go out and seek acquisitions, but when opportunities pop up, we take advantage of them,” Ryan said.

According to the FDIC, First NBC had the fourth-largest share of the metro New Orleans banking market as of June 30, with $2.68 billion in deposits. That puts First NBC behind only established regional and national banking giants Capital One, Whitney and Chase. First NBC says it is the largest bank holding company by assets headquartered in New Orleans.

The FDIC says that as of Sept. 30, the Crestview bank had nearly $11.7 million in noncurrent loans and owned real estate, compared to $2.3 million in equity and loan loss allowances. A Tallahassee credit union announced in August it had a deal to buy the assets of the bank, but those plans fell through.

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.