Another Georgia bank fails

Central Bank of Georgia in Ellaville, Georgia was closed today.

From the FDIC press release:

Central Bank of Georgia, Ellaville, Georgia, was closed today by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver. To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Ameris Bank, Moultrie, Georgia, to assume all of the deposits of Central Bank of Georgia.

The five branches of Central Bank of Georgia will reopen during their normal business hours beginning Saturday as branches of Ameris Bank. Depositors of Central Bank of Georgia will automatically become depositors of Ameris Bank. […]

As of December 31, 2011, Central Bank of Georgia had approximately $278.9 million in total assets and $266.6 million in total deposits. In addition to assuming all of the deposits of the failed bank, Ameris Bank agreed to purchase essentially all of the assets.[…]

The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $67.5 million. Compared to other alternatives, Ameris Bank’s acquisition was the least costly resolution for the FDIC’s DIF. Central Bank of Georgia is the tenth FDIC-insured institution to fail in the nation this year, and the second in Georgia. The last FDIC-insured institution closed in the state was The First State Bank, Stockbridge, on January 20, 2012.

If Ameris Bank is starting to sound familiar, it’s because they’ve already acquired 8 other banks in Georgia and 1 in Florida. Ellaville is in Schley County, north of Americus, in the western part of the state.

One could have hoped that this year’s Georgia legislative session would have taken some time to examine the ongoing banking crisis in Georgia — why exactly do we have so many more failures than all neighboring states other than Florida?