Georgia remains epicenter of bank failures
One bank closed this week. And odds are, when a bank closes, it will most likely be in Georgia. The Peach State is No. 1 in bank failures this year with 23 financial institutions closed. It also leads the nation in bank failures for the last few years. The next closest state is Florida with 10 shuttered banks this year. On Thursday, the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance closed Community Bank of Rockmart in Rockmart, Ga. It had one branch in a town of less than 4,000 about one hour northwest of Atlanta. Century Bank of Georgia agreed to assume all $55.9 million in deposits and purchase roughly $40.7 million of the $62.4 million of assets. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will retain the rest for sale later. The FDIC estimates the closing will cost its deposit insurance fund about $14.5 million. Since the financial crisis struck in 2007, a total of 73 banks in Georgia have failed. Florida, again, is the next closest at 55 over the same time. The 23 closings in Georgia this year up from 18 last year. House Republicans and small banking trade groups raised concerns that regulations under the Dodd-Frank Act and tightened supervision from the FDIC prevent these community banks from recovering. Sandra Thompson, the director of risk management supervision at the FDIC, said at the Wolters Kluwer CRA & Fair Lending colloquium in Baltimore this week that the agency would be evaluating its practices in the months ahead. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.