Darby Bank Signs Consent Order with Regulators
Wednesday, 27 January 2010

January 27--  A Vidalia bank has signed a consent order with federal and state bank regulators to get its financial house in order.

Darby Bank president Ray Fisher sent a letter to shareholders informing them of corrective actions being taken following a bank inspection last year by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance.

Senior Vice President Phillip Williams says the bank wants its customers and the community to know what's going on.  "In December our board met with regulators and entered into a formal agreement that's called a Consent Order and that is simply a check list they want us to give our highest attention to for improving the financial performance of the bank," he said.

Among other things, the Consent Order requires the bank to reduce its losses due to bad loans, increase deposits and raise additional capital.  Bank officials say hundreds of other banks in the Southeast U.S. are operating under similar agreements with regulators because of reverberations from the 2008 meltdown among the country's largest banks.

"Everybody is familiar that the economy is tough at this time.  No bank is immune from those challenges and our bank is facing challenges related to the real estate economy and loans which are not performing at this point.  As we deal with those challenges, we're working hand-in-hand with regulators to make sure that we handle that in the right way and in a timely manner," Williams reports.

Williams says the bank has closed its outlet in Valdosta, but plans to maintain its operations in Savannah and Vidalia.  "It's important to note the bank has been in operation for 82 years and we plan on being here for 82 more.  We want to insure customers this is part of process we began more than a year ago to address the challenges we face.  This agreement with regulators is simply a step in that process to improve the bank's performance," he said.

The feds normally announce their latest regulatory orders the end of each month.  For full details on the Darby order, go to www.fdic.gov.


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