First Piedmont Bank, Winder, was taken over Friday night by the FDIC and Georgia Department of Banking.
First American Bank and Trust Company of Athens assumed all deposits of the bank.
The bank is the second area community bank to be closed this year by the FDIC. Freedom Bank based in Commerce with a branch in Winder was taken over by the FDIC in February. Fifteen Georgia banks have been shut down this year due to the recession.
Customers who have questions about the First Piedmont transaction can call the FDIC toll-free at 1-877-367-2717. The phone number will be operational Friday evening until 9:00 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time (EDT); on Friday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., EDT; on Sunday from noon to 6:00 p.m., EDT; and thereafter from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., EDT.
Interested parties can also visit the FDIC's Web site at www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/piedmont.html.
According to the FDIC, First Piedmont Bank's two offices will reopen on Monday as branches of First American Bank and Trust Company. Depositors of First Piedmont Bank will automatically become depositors of First American Bank and Trust Company. Deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC, so there is no need for customers to change their banking relationship to retain their deposit insurance coverage, officials said.
Over the weekend, depositors of First Piedmont Bank can access their money by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards. Checks drawn on the bank will continue to be processed. Loan customers should continue to make their payments as usual.
In addition to assuming all of the deposits of the failed bank, First American Bank and Trust Company agreed to purchase approximately $111 million of assets. The FDIC will retain the remaining assets for later disposition, officials said.
First Piedmont, founded in 1998, had assets of $115 million as of July 6. It had long been viewed as a bank likely to be closed by the FDIC.
In the first quarter of this year, the bank lost $680,000 and was not in compliance with capital requirements. The banks “non-performing asset ratio” was over 439 at the end of the first quarter, an extremely high number. Banks with troubled asset ratios over 100 are viewed as candidates for serious problems.
The bank's core problems revolved around real estate loans that had gone sour during the economic downturn.
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