Federal banking regulators want former officials of Atlanta-based Silverton Bank to pay $71 million in damages following Georgia's largest bank failure. Silverton went belly up two years ago. Now, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation alleges, former bank officials followed lax lending policies and bought lavish airplanes and posh buildings while their bank verged on collapse.
Georgia Rep. Lynn Westmoreland wants the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to take a closer look at how it goes about closing banks. Westmoreland said agency regulators have flexibility in how they work with banks that might be in trouble, but they are not using it out of fear they will back a bank that still ends up failing. The north Georgia congressman said he worries the FDIC is closing community banks that could ultimately survive with some help.
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.