Federal bank regulators have sued 12 former directors and officers of a failed Georgia bank that collapsed less than six years after it was formed. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation accuses the operators of Freedom Bank of Georgia in Commerce in a lawsuit filed Monday of aggressive lending practices that focused too much on high-risk loans.
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.
The proliferation of bank failures in Georgia has drawn the attention of Congress. The House Financial Services Committee's Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit will host a hearing in Newnan on Aug. 16. U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland says the hearing will focus on the impact regulations may be having on community banks.