Weiss Ratings: Mountain Heritage Bank Closed Three Years after Weiss First Assigned a "Weak" Rating

JUPITER, Florida (June 27, 2011) — On Friday, regulators closed Mountain Heritage Bank, Clayton, Georgia.  This brings the total number of U.S. bank and thrift failures to 48 for 2011, behind last year’s pace of 86.  Georgia leads the nation with 14 failures, while Florida is second with six bank closings this year.

Of the 48 institutions that have failed in 2011, 46, or 96%, were rated E- (“Very Weak”) by Weiss at the time of failure.  Weiss rates 468 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

Mountain Heritage Bank, Clayton, Georgia, north of Atlanta, with assets of $103.7 million at March 31, 2011 had been rated E- (“Very Weak”) for six quarters by Weiss Ratings and was first identified as “Weak” in March 2008. It reported a loss of more than $1.7 million for the period ended March 31, 2011.  Mountain Heritage had below-FDIC-mandated Tier 1 (5%) and risk-based capital (6%) ratios of 1.11% and 2.85%, respectively.  Nonperforming loans represented 18.4% of its loan portfolio. First American Bank and Trust Company located in Athens, Georgia, with assets of $451.6 million and a Weiss Rating of C-, will assume the deposits of Mountain Heritage 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.