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Georgia's Strongest and Weakest Banks

Stocks in this article: WFC BBT STI

ATLANTA ( TheStreet) -- Georgia, the state with the highest number of bank failures during the credit crisis, has about as many institutions with critically poor loan quality as it does those in strong shape.

With the Atlanta area as the eye of the storm for residential-building loans that have gone bust, Georgia has had 24 bank and thrift failures this year and last, the most for any state, followed by Illinois, with 15, California, with 14, and Florida, with eight.

Georgia's 313 banks and savings and loan associations include 17 with critically poor loan quality and 18 in strong shape, according to a review by Ratings using the most recent complete figures as of June 30.

The most recent Georgia failure was Georgian Bank of Atlanta, which was shut down by state regulators Sept. 26, with deposits sold by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to First Citizens Bancorp (FCBN) of Columbia, S.C.

The largest failed Georgia bank in this credit cycle was Silverton Bank NA of Atlanta, which had $4.1 billion in total assets when it was closed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in May. The FDIC was unable to line up a buyer for the failed bank's deposits.

Large holding companies taking advantage of bank failures to expand market share in the state have included Regions Financial (RF), which assumed all the deposits of Integrity Bank of Alpharetta when it failed in August 2008, and BB&T (BBT), which took over the deposits of Haven Trust Co. of Duluth, when it was shuttered in December. (See's enhanced interactive Bank Failure Map for a summary of failed banks and thrifts.)

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