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State Bank and Trust to close Gainesville branch Feb. 26

Former Hall Community Bank changed ownership in December

POSTED: February 6, 2010 12:23 a.m.

After little more than a month under new ownership, the Gainesville branch of State Bank and Trust Co. will be closing in a few weeks.

"The bank is officially closing on Feb. 26," said Tony Collins, executive vice president of State Bank. "Customers have already received letters (notifying them of the closure)."

The branch, located on Green Street, was previously known as Hall Community Bank, which was a subsidiary of the Buckhead Community Bank of Atlanta. Buckhead also owned Forsyth Community Bank in Cumming.

In December, after Buckhead Community Bank failed, all of its branches were closed and acquired by Macon-based State Bank and Trust.

"Customers’ accounts will automatically transfer to the Alpharetta location," Collins said. "If they want to continue with us as customers that would be
wonderful, but if they decide it would be more convenient for them to bank with a local (company) we understand that and will assist them with that process."

In addition to the Gainesville branch, the Cumming location also will close along with two Alpharetta locations.

Closing the area locations will allow the company to make the most of existing resources, officials said.

"State Bank has offices in middle Georgia and is a significant player in that area. We already had an office in the Atlanta area, but our presence wasn’t quite as large as it is in middle Georgia," Collins said. "This was a strategic decision about the utilization of resources to be a more significant player in fewer locations."

Because the failed Buckhead Community Bank had most of its assets and deposits in the Atlanta area, the December acquisition has allowed State Bank to increase its presence in that area, Collins said.

"Our intention is to focus our resources on the locations that we have in the Buckhead and mid-Atlanta area," he said. "We will have fewer locations, but we will be able to be a stronger presence in those areas.

"Although Gainesville was a good market and the employees are wonderful people, we are such a small player there that it would’ve taken a lot of resources to become a significant presence in the community."

According to Collins, the closures will affect about six employees and State Bank is currently trying to help those employees transition to other jobs.

If customers are interested in staying with the bank, the closest branch would be located at 2380 Old Milton Parkway in Alpharetta, company officials said.

Although the local State Bank locations will close Feb. 26, customers can close or transfer their accounts at any time.



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