Federal banking regulators are telling The Savannah Bank it needs to reduce its troubled assets. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has given the bank its lightest possible action, letting bank officials dictate their own terms for reducing delinquent loans and reposessions. The move speaks to how far Georgia banks have to recover from the Great Recession.
Atlanta-based SunTrust bank has bought nearly $11 million of government-owned stock warrants that were part of the federal TARP program. The bank repaid $5 billion in federal aid in March, which covered the government’s preferred stock holdings. Thursday’s buyback is for a portion of the common stock warrants held by the Treasury Department.
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.
Federal regulators seized two more Georgia banks late Friday, making 16 failures for the year and 67 since the middle of 2008, leading the nation. And there's likely more pain ahead for the industry in the rest of 2011. High Trust Bank in Stockbridge, and Atlanta-based One Georgia Bank were both were heavy in commerical real estate loans.
Two-thirds of the Georgia’s banks had improved earnings in 2010 and fewer institutions operated in the red, according to the fourth-quarter banking profile from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Georgia banks lost $1.6 billion in 2010, less the half their losses in 2009. But nationwide, banks made more than $87 billion altogether last year.
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.