Georgia Department of Banking and Finance Takes Possession of Bank of Hiawassee, Hiawassee, Georgia

March 19, 2010


Atlanta, Georgia
 ~ The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance (“Department”) took possession of Bank of Hiawassee, Hiawassee, Georgia on March 19, 2010.  The Superior Court of Towns County issued an Order appointing the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as Receiver of the Bank effective upon the Department taking possession of Bank of Hiawassee.

The Department took possession of Bank of Hiawassee pursuant to the Official Code of Georgia, Section 7-1-150(a) which authorizes the Department in its discretion to take possession of the business and property of any state chartered financial institution whenever such financial institution is either insolvent or operating in an unsafe or unsound condition to transact its business, is operating in violation of any court order, statute, rule or regulation, or requests the Department to take possession of its business and property. 

Through an agreement with the FDIC, Bank of Hiawassee will be acquired by Citizens South Bank, Gastonia, North Carolina.

All deposit accounts of Bank of Hiawassee have been transferred to Citizens South Bank and will be available immediately.  On Saturday, March 20, 2010, depositors will be able to access their accounts at the former main office and branch locations of Bank of Hiawassee. Customers of both banks should continue to use their existing branches until Citizens South Bank can fully integrate the deposit records of Bank of Hiawassee.  Additionally, the former depositors of Bank of Hiawassee can continue to access their accounts through automated teller machine transactions, checks and debit transactions.  It should be noted that Bank of Hiawassee utilized the trade names Bank of Blue Ridge and Bank of Blairsville at the branch offices in Blue Ridge and Blairsville, respectively.

All deposits will be transferred to Citizens South Bank and, therefore, it is not anticipated that there will be any loss exposure to former Bank of Hiawassee depositors that have deposits exceeding the FDIC Deposit Insurance amounts. 

The Department’s Commissioner, Robert M. Braswell, reminds depositors that deposits of all Georgia banks are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000. Special rules are in place for accounts held in trust status and joint accounts that may further expand deposit insurance coverage.  You can find additional information on FDIC Deposit Insurance at www.fdic.gov.

The FDIC has established a website and a toll-free phone number to answer questions from depositors, creditors and other interested parties regarding the receivership of Bank of Hiawassee.   Please refer to the FDIC’s website for further information regarding the details of the purchase and assumption transaction. The website is www.fdic.gov and the toll-free phone number is 1-800-508-8289.   The phone number is operational this evening until 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, on Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. and thereafter from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.