Hometown Community Bank taken by FDIC; CertusBank enters purchase agreement


Hometown Community Bank in Braselton had been under a consent order from the FDIC since April. Its two locations will reopen Saturday as CertusBank.

Hometown Community Bank in Braselton was closed today by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver.

CertusBank, National Association, headquartered in Easley, S.C., is  assuming all of the deposits of Hometown Community Bank to protect depositors.

As of Sept. 30, Hometown Community Bank had approximately $124.6 million in total assets and $108.9 million in total deposits. In addition to assuming all of the deposits of the failed bank, CertusBank agreed to purchase essentially all of the assets.

Hometown Community Bank, which was added to the Official Problem Bank List with a consent order being entered in April, is the 50th FDIC-insured institution to fail in the nation this year, and the 10th in Georgia.

Martha Martin, a member of the Hometown Community Bank Board of Directors, said Friday that she is saddened by the FDIC’s action.

“I hate it for the community and especially our shareholders who had confidence in us,” said Martin. “What other bank supports our Chamber of Commerce and other organizations throughout our community as much as Hometown Community Bank did?”

Martin said she is hopeful the jobs of Hometown Community Bank employees will be preserved.

A state banking official had previously told Hometown directors that the bank was a model bank but one that was started and operated during the worst economic times.

“We were known as a real estate bank because that is the type of growth that was happening here,” said Martin. When the real estate industry collapsed, banks like Hometown Community Banks were hit hard. But Martin said the board had asked for time for the market to rebound but community banks are in the crosshairs of the FDIC.

FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with CertusBank and the two branches of Hometown Community Bank will reopen on Saturday as branches of CertusBank, N.A. Depositors of Hometown Community Bank will automatically become depositors of CertusBank, and deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC, so there is no need for customers to change their banking relationship in order to retain their deposit insurance coverage up to applicable limits.

Hometown Community Bank had a Highway 53 location in Braselton and a branch in the Traditions Walk development along Highway 124 in Hoschton.

Customers of Hometown Community Bank should continue to use their existing branch until they receive notice from CertusBank that it has completed systems changes to allow other CertusBank  branches to process their accounts as well.

This evening and over the weekend, depositors of Hometown Community Bank can access their money by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards. Checks drawn on the bank will continue to be processed. Loan customers should continue to make their payments as usual.

Customers with questions can call the FDIC at 1-800-830-4725 until 9 p.m.; on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.; on Monday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., EST; and thereafter from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit http://www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/hometown.html.

The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $36.7 million. Compared to other alternatives, CertusBank, N.A.’s acquisition was the least costly resolution for the FDIC’s DIF.

The last FDIC-insured institution closed in the state was Jasper Banking Company in Jasper, on July 27.

 CertusBank has locations in Jefferson at 1465 Old Swimming Pool Road at Damon Gause Parkway, in the Commerce-Homer area at 1989 Historic Homer Highway in Commerce and in the Athens-Bogart area at 1252 Virgil Langford Road in Bogart.