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Tuesday, December 29, 2009 - 10:34am

Rural Towns Watch Bank Failures

Five more Georgia banks are in danger of failing, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. They're all community banks, and for small towns the consequences of losing those institutions can be devastating.
This year twenty-five banks in Georgia have been shut down. Some of those lenders were in rural communities. Bank consultant, Byron Richardson says customers in small towns have specific needs.
"You really have to have a lender in the market who is a professional and understands the challenges of AG lending. And, quite frankly it's not just agricultural lending. It's lending to that small business in that small market."
Richardson says larger banks have policies dictated out of major markets. When small banks disappear it effects economic growth and opportunities for rural towns.
Most of these community banks have also been unable to access government assistance like the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.