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Feds shut down FNB; deposits safe with United

First National Bank of Barnesville and its branch in Zebulon were closed late Friday afternoon by the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was appointed receiver. FNB, a fixture in downtown Barnesville for 108 years, had been struggling for sometime. FDIC officials took bids on the deposits and assets of the bank but got no takers. United Bank then entered into an agreement with FDIC to purchase those deposits and assets, saving FNB depositors an estimated $700,000 to $1 million in uninsured deposits. It also prevented the immediate shuttering of all FNB facilities. All the former FNB locations will open Saturday morning as usual. All deposits in the bank and its safety deposit boxes are intact. FNB stock, however, was rendered worthless by the failure of the bank. ”We regret the closing of the bank and the loss to shareholders. The severity of the economic crisis caused mounting loan losses for the bank,” FNB president/CEO George Butler said. ”Many of our borrowers were unable to meet the terms of their obligations to the bank. Lack of performance by our borrowers on loans made by the bank have been widespread. The collateral on most of those loans was real estate. Real estate values declined so significantly the bank’s capital had to be used to absorb the losses. Our customers and depositors can rest assured FNB management and the board of directors have done everything possible to avoid the closure of the bank,” Butler added. Longtime former Barnesville mayor Jimmy Matthews, an FNB board member, applauded United Bank’s efforts and recalled other significant business failures here in recent history. ”I am thankful United Bank stepped up and assumed this risk. The risk was enough to scare others away. Times change. As a child, I thought Wisebram’s was forever. As a young adult, I thought Carter’s Mill was forever. As an adult, I thought Davis-Cooper Ford and First National Bank would always have a place in Barnesville,” Matthews said. FNB was nationally chartered in 1902. In the first quarter of 2007, it boasted assets of $125 million. In addition to the main office in downtown Barnesville and the Zebulon branch, it operated ATMs in the Giant Mart parking lot and in downtown Milner. To see the official FDIC website on the closing, go to http://www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/fnbbarnesville.html

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