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Monday, January 17, 2011 - 8:17am

Bank Closure State's First Of '11

The state’s first bank failure of the new year came over the weekend.

Georgia’s Department of Banking and Finance closed Brunswick’s Oglethorpe Bank late Friday. Deposits and assets were acquired by Bank of the Ozarks, a Little Rock, Arkansas-based institution.

Officials with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, say the closure will cost the fund more than $80 million.

This latest closure is the 52nd for Georgia since the middle of 2008, and follows a total of 21 last year -- second highest in the U.S.

Atlanta banking expert Brian Olasov says there will be more bumps this year, but a break in the clouds is coming:

“Banks are working aggressively through their real estate problems, either working to modify loans with borrowers. If they aren’t modifiable, then banks are going to continue writing down loans resolving them.”

Oglethorpe Bank’s closure is the third in the country so far this year, and the first in Georgia in four weeks.

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