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TheStreet Open House

Georgia's Strongest and Weakest Banks

Stocks in this article: WFC BBT STI

Largest Georgia Institutions

The following includes capital, earnings and asset-quality indicators for the 10 largest banks and thrifts with headquarters in Georgia.

10 Largest Georgia Banks and S&Ls
chart
Source: SNL Financial

Banking in the state is dominated by SunTrust Bank, the main subsidiary of SunTrust Banks (STI - Get Report), which had $170 billion in assets as of June 30. The bank's D-minus (weak) rating was driven by three consecutive quarterly losses, along with declining asset quality and an annualized charge-off ratio in excess of its ratio of loan-loss reserves to total loans.

Synovus Financial (SNV - Get Report) of Columbus is another big player in the state, with 15 of 31 subsidiary banks located in Georgia, including three among the 10 biggest: Columbus Bank & Trust, Bank of North Georgia of Alpharetta and AFB&T of Athens.

Synovus is set to report third-quarter earnings Oct. 22 and was recently profiled as part of TheStreet.com's Is It Safe? series.

The second-largest bank in the state was United Community Bankof Blairsville, the main unit of United Community Banks (UCBI - Get Report). United Community's D rating reflected four consecutive quarterly net losses, a high net charge-off ratio and a continued increase in nonperforming loans. Still, regulators were confident enough in United Community to approve its acquisition of the failed Southern Community Bank of Fayetteville in June.

Wachovia Card Services, now a subsidiary of Wells Fargo (WFC - Get Report), is also among the 10 biggest institutions headquartered in the state. With the high rate of loan charge-offs expected during this economic climate, along with a strong capital base and continued profits, the institution was assigned a C (fair) financial-strength rating.

Free Bank and S&L Ratings

An important factor in limiting the number of bank failures during the current crisis was the temporary increase of the FDIC's basic limit on individual deposit insurance coverage to $250,000 from $100,000. The increase has been extended through 2013.

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