Area bank seized by regulators

From Staff Reports

Regulators seized control of McDonough-based FirstBank Financial Services Friday and turned its deposits over to Regions Bank of Birmingham.

All four of FirstBank's area branches will open Monday as branches of Regions Bank.

It's the second metro Atlanta bank Regions has assumed control of since June, and the seventh bank in the country to fail in the past year.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which was named the bank's receiver by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, said it turned $279 million in deposits over to Regions. In a statement released Friday afternoon, the FDIC said Regions has also agreed to purchase $17 million of FirstBank's total $337 million in assets. The FDIC said it will retain the remaining assets for the time being.

"Depositors of FirstBank will automatically become depositors of Regions," the FDIC said in written statement. "Deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC, so there is no need for customers to change their banking relationship to retain deposit insurance coverage."

The FDIC said customers of FirstBank can still access money in their deposit accounts this weekend by writing checks and using ATMs.

The bank seizure is expected to cost the Deposit Insurance Fund $111 million.

FirstBank operates three branches in Henry County - two in McDonough and one in Stockbridge - and one branch in Clayton County, on Jonesboro Road in Morrow.

Regions Bank said it will assume control of 6,400 FirstBank accounts.

"Having recently completed a highly successful conversion of customers and deposits of another failed bank, we are ready to put our proven integration team and processes to work for the benefit of our new customers," Regions' Chairman, President and CEO Dowd Ritter said in a statement.

The FDIC said FirstBank loan customers should still make payments as usual, and that loan terms would not change.

Customers with questions about the transition can call 1-800-823-3215, for more information.


On the net:

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.: www.fdic.gov

Regions Bank: www.regions.com