0

Regulators take over local bank
First Georgia Community reopens as United Bank

CONYERS - The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance closed the First Georgia Community Bank on Friday and named the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as receiver.

According to a press release from the FDIC, the bank, which operated a branch in Covington, as well as Jackson, Griffin and Locust Grove, reopened Saturday morning as United Bank, which entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with the FDIC to assume all of First Georgia Community Bank's deposits.

"In addition to the Griffin and Covington markets where we already have banking locations, we have served customers in Jackson and Locust Grove for many years," United Bank CEO Jim Edwards said. "This acquisition will allow us to serve all these markets better. We welcome First Georgia Community Bank's customers and employees to United Bank, and we promise to make the transition as easy and seamless as possible. We look forward to becoming as involved in these new communities as we have always been in the other communities we serve."

Depositors of the failed bank will automatically become depositors of United Bank, and deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC, the release states.

"There is no need for customers to change their banking relationship to retain their deposit insurance coverage," it said. "Customers of the failed bank should continue to use their existing branches until further information is received from United Bank."

Over the weekend, depositors have been able to access their money by writing checks or using ATM and debit cards, the release states. "Checks drawn on the bank will continue to be processed. Loan customers should continue to make their payments as usual."

First Georgia Community Bank's total assets were at $237.5 million as of Nov. 7, with total deposits totaling $197.4 million. United Bank agreed to assume all the deposits for a .811 percent premium. In addition to assuming all of the failed bank's deposits, United Bank will purchase approximately $60.6 million of assets. The FDIC will retain the remaining assets for later disposition.

With the acquisition, United Bank will operate 19 banking locations in eight contiguous counties on the southern and eastern sides of the metro Atlanta area, stretching from Thomaston to Madison. The combined institution will have more than $839 million in capital and employ nearly 400 employees.

According to the FDIC press release, the cost of the transaction to the Deposit Insurance Fund will total $72.2 million. "United Bank's acquisition of all deposits was the 'least costly' resolution for the FDIC's Deposit Insurance Fund compared to alternatives," it reads. "First Georgia Community Bank is the 23rd bank to fail in the nation this year, and the fourth in Georgia. ... The last bank to be closed in the state was The Community Bank, Loganville, Ga., on Nov. 21."

According to the release, Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to restore public confidence in the nation's banking system. The FDIC insures deposits at the nation's 8,451 banks and savings associations and it promotes the safety and soundness of those institutions by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to which they are exposed. The FDIC receives no federal tax dollars - insured financial institutions fund its operations.

For more information about the transaction, call the FDIC's toll-free number at 1-800-930-5172. The number will operate today from 12 to 6 p.m. and thereafter from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. More information is available online at www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/firstga.html.