Another week, another Georgia bank has failed. Todays bank seizure is brought to us by Fayetteville Georgia:
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver of Cooperative Bank of Wilmington, N.C., Southern Community Bank of Fayetteville, Ga., and First National Bank of Anthony in Anthony, Kan.
United Community Bank of Blairsville, Ga., will assume Southern Community bank’s five branches, its $307 million in deposits, and nearly all of its $377 million in assets.
As I’ve commented here many times, Georgia is unique in both it’s banking market (a few big banks and many, many community banks) and it’s real estate development base (few of the national builders, an industry dominated by father and son developer types) which has led to an environment in which we’ll see more of these real estate dependent banks fail.
Take a look at the many new empty storefronts that dominate commercial strip centers that have popped up all over North Georgia over the past few years. While the news has focused on the residential real estate issues, these still unfilled storefronts are one of your biggest signs that there’s a commercial real estate problem too, and it’s just now beginning to show up on bank’s balance sheets.