Local bank 20th in state to fail in '09

LAWRENCEVILLE - Becoming the 20th Georgia bank to fail this year, the former American United Bank in Lawrenceville closed Friday and reopened Monday as a branch of Ameris Bank.

The bank was shut down by the Georgia Department of Branking and Financing, which appointed the Federal Deposit and Insurance Corporation as receiver. The FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Moultrie-based Ameris Bank to assume all deposits, an FDIC press release said.

Deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC, so the press release said there is no need for customers to change their banking relationship to retain their deposit insurance coverage. The release said customers should continue to use their existing branch until they receive notice from Ameris Bank.

As of Aug. 11, 2009, American United Bank had total assets of $111 million and total deposits of approximately $101 million. Ameris Bank will pay the FDIC a premium of 1.02 percent to assume all of the deposits, the release said.

The bank also entered into a loss-share transaction with the FDIC on about $92 million of American United Bank's assets.

FDIC officials said the acquisition by Ameris was the "least costly" resolution for the Deposit Insurance Fund, for which officials estimate the cost to be $44 million.

Nationally, American United Bank is the 101st FDIC-insured institution to fail this year, the release said.

Customers can call the FDIC toll-free at 800-913-3058 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., or visit the FDIC's Web site at www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/americanunited.html.