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Winder-based bank seized by FDIC
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WINDER - At 6 p.m. Friday afternoon, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized The Peoples Bank, which is based in Winder.

Members of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation worked as security during the transfer. Within 15 minutes, signs were posted on the doorways of the bank's branches: "Notice is hereby given ... the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance has this day taken possession of the business and property of The Peoples Bank with its main office located in Winder, Georgia."

The GDBF immediately named the FDIC as the receiver of the bank.

After the closure, Community & Southern Bank, located in Carollton, acquired all the deposits and "substantially all of the assets" of The Peoples Bank, according to a news release.

FDIC spokesman Roberta Valdez said the main thing for account holders to know is that their money is safe.

"No one lost any money on deposit" because of the seizure, she said.

According to Valdez, for customers, the bank will be operating under a new name but "everything else will stay the same."

Account holders may continue to use their checks, debit cards and ATMs as usual. Routing and account numbers will remain the same for the immediate future. Automatic payments and online bill pay also will continue as usual.

Interest on deposits will be paid at existing closing rates on Friday. However, current rates will be reviewed by Community & Southern Bank, and account holders will be notified in seven days of any changes.

Loan payments should continue to be made according to the terms of signed contracts.

Customers' deposits are not affected; however, that may be a different story for shareholders of the bank.

All shares of stock were owned by Peoples Holding Co., which was not included in the closing of the bank. Stock owners should contact the holding company for the status of shares.

The Peoples Bank had total assets of $447.2 million and total deposits of $398.2 million. It has 14 branches in Georgia.

Last year, the FDIC released its Deposit Market Share Report, showing what percentage of the market various banks held. The Peoples Bank ranked No. 1, with 43.93 percent of the Barrow market.

On Oct. 29, The Peoples Bank would have celebrated 84 years of business. It had been the market share leader since 1996.

The FDIC estimates the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund for The Peoples Bank is $98.9 million.

This brings the number of failed banks in Georgia to 14. Nationwide, 123 have failed.

The move came as a shock for the community, as Valdez said policy "is not to give advance notice" of an FDIC seizure.

FDIC employees came in waves Friday evening at The Peoples Bank Operation Center, many of them carrying briefcases or large bags.

One FDIC employee said the government entity would spend Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the bank, going over records and information.

The bank will be open for regular working hours on Monday.