Ameris Bank, Moultrie, Georgia, acquired the banking operations, including all the deposits, of High Trust Bank, Stockbridge, Georgia, and One Georgia Bank, Atlanta, Georgia. The two banks were closed today by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver for each institution. To protect depositors, the FDIC entered into purchase and assumption agreements with Ameris Bank.
All three branches of the two closed banks will reopen during their normal business hours beginning Saturday as branches of Ameris Bank. Depositors of the two failed banks automatically will become depositors of Ameris Bank. Deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC, so there is no need for customers to change their banking relationship in order to retain their deposit insurance coverage up to applicable limits. High Trust Bank had two branches, and One Georgia Bank had one branch.
Customers of the two failed banks should continue to use their former branches until they receive notice from Ameris Bank that it has completed systems changes to allow other branches of Ameris Bank to process their accounts as well. Over the weekend, depositors can access their money by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards. Checks drawn on the banks will continue to be processed. Loan customers should continue to make their payments as usual.
As of March 31, 2011, High Trust Bank had total assets of $192.5 million and total deposits of $189.5 million; and One Georgia Bank had total assets of $186.3 million and total deposits of $162.1 million. Besides assuming all the deposits from the two Georgia banks, Ameris Bank will purchase essentially all of their assets.
The FDIC and Ameris Bank entered into loss-share transactions on the failed banks' assets. The loss-share transaction for High Trust Bank was $164.8 million, and the loss-share transaction for One Georgia Bank was $146.3 million. Ameris Bank will share in the losses on the asset pools covered under the loss-share agreements. The loss-share transactions are projected to maximize returns on the assets covered by keeping them in the private sector. The transactions also are expected to minimize disruptions for loan customers. For more information on loss share, please visit: http://www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/lossshare/index.html.
Customers with questions about today's transactions should call the FDIC toll free: for High Trust Bank customers, 1-866-934-8944 and for One Georgia Bank customers, 1-877-894-4713. The phone numbers will be operational this evening until 9:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT); on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EDT; on Sunday from noon until 6:00 p.m. EDT; and thereafter from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EDT.
The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) for High Trust Bank will be $66.0 million and for One Georgia Bank, $44.4 million. Compared to other alternatives, Ameris Bank's acquisition of the two institutions was the least costly option for the DIF.
The closings are the 52nd and 53rd FDIC-insured institutions to fail in the nation so far this year and the fifteenth and sixteenth in Georgia. The last FDIC-insured institution closed in the state was Mountain Heritage Bank, Clayton, on June 24, 2011.
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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 7,575 banks and savings associations and it promotes the safety and soundness of these 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.
FDIC press releases and other information are available on the Internet at www.fdic.gov, by subscription electronically (go to www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.html) and may also be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information Center (877-275-3342 or 703-562-2200). PR-120-2011