Georgian Bank fails
by Kim Isaza
kisaza@mdjonline.com
September 26, 2009 01:00 AM | 2572 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
POWDER SPRINGS - Georgian Bank, chartered in 2001 to serve the Powder Springs community, became the 19th bank in the state, and 95th nationally, to fail this year when state regulators shut it down late Friday, another victim of rising loan defaults amid the worst economic climate in decades.

First Citizens Bank and Trust, of Columbia, S.C., will assume all $2 billion worth of deposits in Georgian Bank, and agreed to share in some of its losses under an arrangement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

FDIC officials estimate that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund will be $892 million, and said in a news release that First Citizens' acquisition was the least expensive option to resolving Georgian Bank.

Georgian Bank's five branches, including the original location in Powder Springs and one near Cumberland Mall, will reopen Monday as branches of First Citizens Bank. Deposits will automatically be transferred and will continue to be insured by the FDIC. Its three other offices are in Alpharetta, Buckhead and Gwinnett.

Georgian Bank customers can continue to access their money by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards. Loan customers should continue to make payments as usual.

Georgian Bank customers can call the FDIC at 1 (800) 405-1498. The lines will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday; and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. afterward. More information is also available online at www.fdic.gov

In 2003, a group of investors led by Gordon R. Teel invested $50 million in new capital in the bank. According to the corporate profile previously posted on Georgian Bank's Web site, since 2003 the bank has focused on serving local entrepreneurs and locally owned businesses in the north Atlanta metro area, and high-net-worth individuals.

The profile states: "Georgian Bank serves businesses and individuals who are unable to get personal service from larger banks, and need more sophisticated products and services that smaller banks cannot provide."

Adams D. "De" Little of Marietta, owner of Greenstone Properties, and Fred Bentley Jr. of Vinings, a partner in the law firm of Bentley, Bentley & Bentley, are among the directors of Georgian Bancorporation.

Members of the board of directors of Georgian Bank include state Rep. Earl Ehrhart of Powder Springs and Murray Homan, chairman of Cobb County's planning and zoning board.

Bank failures have spread nationwide - there have been 95 so far this year - but the 19 in Georgia since Jan. 1 are the most of any state. That's a reflection of the depressed real estate market and of a glut of small community banks in the state.

Hundreds more banks are expected to fail nationwide in the next few years largely because of souring loans for commercial real estate, the Associated Press reported.
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