Weiss Ratings Identified Atlantic Bank and Trust as “Weak” One Year Ahead of Failure

JUPITER, Florida (June 6, 2011) — On Friday, regulators closed Atlantic Bank and Trust of Charleston, South Carolina.  This brings the total number of U.S. bank and thrift failures to 45 for 2011, behind last year’s pace of 81.  With nearly half of all closures, the South 1 leads the nation in failed banks with 21.

Of the 45 institutions that have failed in 2011, 43, or 96%, were rated E- (“Very Weak”) by Weiss at the time of failure.  Weiss rates 481 more banks and thrifts “Very Weak” with a rating of E+, E, or E-.  Consumers can view the full list at www.weissratings.com/weakest-banks.

Atlantic Bank and Trust, Charleston, South Carolina, with assets of $239.2 million at December 31, 2010 had been rated E- (“Very Weak”) for three quarters by Weiss Ratings and was first identified as “Weak” in March 2010. It reported a loss of more than $17.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2010 and a return on assets of -6.55%.  Atlantic Bank and Trust had below-FDIC-mandated Tier 1 (5%) ratio of 2.99%.  Nonperforming loans represented 28.9% of its loan portfolio.  First Citizens Bank and Trust Co., Inc., Columbia, South Carolina, with assets of $8.2 billion and a Weiss Rating of C+, will assume the deposits of Atlantic Bank and Trust. 

Weiss Ratings, the nation’s leading independent provider of bank, credit union and insurance company financial strength ratings and sovereign debt ratings, accepts no payments for its ratings from rated institutions.  It also distributes independent investment ratings on the shares of thousands of publicly traded companies, mutual funds, closed-end funds and ETFs.

1 South defined as South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Tennessee.