United Community Banks is exiting its corporate healthcare lending business based in Nashville, TN agreeing to sell $190 million of corporate healthcare loans to Hancock Bank. United will also transfer the lease on its healthcare lending office in Nashville and the personnel will become employees of Hancock.

“While we continue to believe strongly in the prospects for healthcare lending throughout our footprint, it has become clear that lending to nationally and regionally focused corporate healthcare borrowers requires larger individual credit exposures than is appropriate for the size we are today,” said United president and COO Lynn Harton.

“Our talented team in Nashville has built a strong portfolio, but the business is better suited for, and will be more successful in, a larger bank such as Hancock with over $21 billion in assets,” Harton said. “United will continue to provide local, community-based healthcare lending and related financial services, while growing our Specialized Lending group with a focus on SBA, commercial real estate, asset-based, builder finance and middle-market corporate lending.”

Harton also said: “United expects initially to invest the loan sale proceeds in investment securities, offsetting the majority of the net earnings impact. Ultimately we will reinvest in growth opportunities consistent with our strategy.”

During 2015, United has expanded its footprint in growing markets in east Tennessee by acquiring the First National Bank with $425 million in assets and in upstate South Carolina with the acquisition of The Palmetto Bank with $1.2 billion in assets. United also reported operating net income of $37.6 million for the six months ended June 30, 2015, compared to $31.3 million for the six months ended June 30, 2014.