Weiss Ratings Identified Atlantic Southern, First Georgia, and Summit Bank as “Weak” At Least One Year Prior to Failure

JUPITER, Florida (May 23, 2011) — On Friday, regulators closed three banks: Atlantic Southern Bank, Macon, Georgia; First Georgia Banking Company, Franklin, Georgia and Summit Bank, Burlington, Washington.  This brings the total number of U.S. bank and thrift failures to 43 for 2011, behind last year’s pace of 78.  Georgia leads the nation with 12 failures, while Florida is second with five bank closings this year.

Of the 43 institutions that have failed in 2011, 41, or 95%, were rated E- (“Very Weak”) by Weiss at the time of failure.  Weiss rates 483 more banks and thrifts “Very Weak” with a rating of E+, E, or E-.  Consumers can view the full list at www.weissratings.com

Atlantic Southern Bank of Macon, Georgia, with assets of $781.1 million at December 31, 2010 had been rated E- (“Very Weak”) for six quarters by Weiss Ratings and was first identified as “Weak” in March 2009. It reported a loss of more than $17.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2010.  Atlantic Southern had below-FDIC-mandated Tier 1 (5%) and risk-based capital (6%) ratios of 2.31% and 4.29%, respectively.  Nonperforming loans represented 16.8% of its loan portfolio.  CertusBank, N.A., an institution established in January 2011, will assume the deposits of Atlantic Southern Bank. 

First Georgia Banking Company of Franklin, Georgia, with assets of $780 million at December 31, 2010 had been rated E- (“Very Weak”) for six quarters by Weiss Ratings and was first identified as “Weak” in June 2008. It reported a loss of more than $15.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2010.  First Georgia had below-FDIC-mandated Tier 1 (5%) and risk-based capital (6%) ratios of 2.4% and 4.87%, respectively.  Nonperforming loans represented 9.4% of its loan portfolio.  CertusBank, N.A., will also assume the deposits of First Georgia Banking Company. 

Summit Bank of Burlington, Washington, with assets of $146.5 million at December 31, 2010 had been rated E- (“Very Weak”) for three quarters by Weiss Ratings and was first identified as “Weak” in September 2010. It reported a loss of more than $8.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2010.  Summit Bank had below-FDIC-mandated Tier 1 (5%) and risk-based capital (6%) ratios of 3.94% and 5.99%, respectively.  Nonperforming loans represented 8.35% of its loan portfolio.  Columbia State Bank of Tacoma, Washington, with assets of $4.3 billion and a Weiss Financial Strength Rating of D+ will assume the deposits of Summit Bank. 

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.