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Regulators Shut Down Georgia Bank

ATLANTA (TheStreet) -- Georgia regulators closed Georgian Bank of Atlanta Friday, bringing the total number of failed U.S. banks and thrifts this year to 95.

The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance took over Georgian Bank late Friday and appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. receiver. The FDIC then arranged for all of the failed institution's deposits and essentially all of its assets to be assumed by First Citizens Bank and Trust of Columbia, S.C. The acquiring bank is a subsidiary of First Citizens Bancorp (FCBN).

Georgian Bank specialized in construction lending to residential developers in the suburbs of Atlanta and also provided private banking services to businesses and wealthy depositors. More than half of the bank's assets were concentrated in construction loans and commercial real estate loans.

Credit quality took a nosedive in the second quarter, with nonperforming assets -- including nonaccrual loans and accruing loans past due 90 days or more, along with repossessed real estate -- making up 17.19% of total assets as of June 30. That marked a deterioration from the previous quarter, when the nonperforming assets ratio was 5.13%.

On Friday, the FDIC made public regulatory orders it had given Georgian Bank on Aug. 24, including a cease-and-desist order citing ineffective supervision by the bank's board of directors and inadequate capital levels. The order also cited lax underwriting standards and an inadequate liquidity plan, and it required the bank to increase its capital ratios within 120 days in order to maintain a Tier 1 leverage ratio of at least 8% and a total risk-based capital ratio of at least 10%.

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