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First National Bank acquisition complete
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2001 vs Tennessee: "We just stepped on their face with a hobnail boot."
An Atlanta bank holding company has completed its acquisition of the First National Bank of Hall County, which will now be known as The Hall Community Bank.

Buckhead Community Bancorp announced in March that it would acquire Cumming-based Allied Bancshares in a $53.5 million transaction. Allied did business as First National Bank of Forsyth County.

The Gainesville operation, located at 311 Green Street, will be headed by Ricky Pugh, who served as president of the former bank and will hold the same title at the new Hall Community Bank.

Andrew Walker, who was chairman and chief executive of First National, will become regional president of Buckhead Community Bank. From 1987 to 1998, Walker was president of what was then known as Georgia First Bank in Gainesville. That bank is now a part of North Carolina-based Branch Banking & Trust.

He has a niche for developing and selling startup banks.

In 1999, he assembled a group of investors to form First National Bank of Johns Creek in Forsyth County. Three years later, the minimum time allowed by federal regulations, the bank was sold to Main Street Banks, which was later acquired by BB&T.

Allied and its Cumming and Gainesville banks began operation in April 2004.

In a June 30 report issued by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on bank deposits, First National Bank of Hall County had $42.4 million in deposits and a 1.61 percent share among the 15 banks in Hall County.

In the same report, First National Bank of Forsyth County ranked fifth among 24 banks in that county, with deposits of $157.5 million.

Pugh said Wednesday that the transition for customers was seamless.

"Basically, there is no change at all," Pugh said. "A data processing change will take place in April and the customers will see minor changes then. However, their account numbers will remain the same."

Pugh has a staff of nine at the Gainesville office, which underwent signage changes last week and officially opened under the new name on Wednesday.

Buckhead Community Bank opened in 1998 and now has banks in Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, Midtown Atlanta, Johns Creek and Cobb County, in addition to the two newly acquired operations."

The bank has $668 million in deposits and $800 million in assets.