Georgia bank is 95th to fail this year

Regulators close Georgian Bank, the 19th bank in the state to fail this year.

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By Ben Rooney, staff reporter

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Where the banks are failing
Bank failures and foreclosures keep mounting

NEW YORK ( -- Atlanta-based Georgian Bank was closed by state regulators Friday, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, becoming the 95th to fail in the nation this year.

Customers of Georgian Bank are protected. The FDIC, which has insured bank deposits since the Great Depression, currently covers customer accounts up to $250,000.

First Citizens Bank and Trust Company, Inc., of Columbia, S.C., agreed to assume all of Georgian's $2 billion deposits and will purchase "essentially all" of its $2 billion in assets, the FDIC said.

The five branches of Georgian Bank will reopen Monday as branches of First Citizens Bank.

"We view this transaction as a unique opportunity based on current developments in our industry," said Peter Bristow, president and chief operating officer for First Citizens, in a statement. The acquisition is part of First Citizens' "expansion strategy" in South Carolina and Georgia, he added.

The FDIC said customers of the failed banks will be able to access their money over the weekend by writing checks or using ATMs or debit cards. Checks will continue to be processed, and borrowers should make their payments as usual.

The 95 banks that have failed so far this year, an average of more than 10 per month, is nearly four times the number of banks that failed in 2008. It's the highest tally since 1992, when 181 banks failed.

This year's failures have reduced the FDIC's insurance fund to $10.4 billion from $45 billion a year ago. However, the agency has said it has $42 billion available for bank rescues over the next 12 months.

Friday's closure will cost the FDIC an estimated $892 million.

The FDIC board is scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss how to raise money to restock the fund, including the possibility of using its line of credit at the Treasury Department.  To top of page

Atlanta-based Georgian Bank was closed by state regulators Friday, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, becoming the 95th to fail in the nation this year.
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