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Greer State Bank removed from consent order

Two year struggle is rare in banking industry

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Monday, March 25, 2013

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"It was a great feeling and recognition from the regulators what we have done."

George Burdette
President/CEO Greer State Bank

Greer Bancshares Incorporated (GRBS), the parent company of Greer State Bank, today reported the removal of a consent order issued through the FDIC and the Commissioner of Banking.

“There were a lot high fives when I got that letter (Friday) and opened it,” said George W. Burdette, President and CEO of Greer Bancshares Incorporated and Greer State Bank. “It was a great feeling and recognition from the regulators what we have done.”

Burdette and bank executives knew the FDIC was sending the documents. “People here a couple of years ago put a good plan in place. We worked with a consultant and the people stuck with the plan,” Burdette said.

The FDIC, said Burdette, was interested in the bank’s successful plan. “The FDIC saw the trend and how many banks were failing and asked us, ‘How did you do it?’”

Burdette said the bank did not make snap decisions to rid itself of bad loans.  "A lot of banks took the knee-jerk approach," Burdette said. "We worked with the borrowers to help  themout of troubled loans instead of foreclosing. It was a good way to work with our customers and that approach has paid off.”

The consent order stipulated several operational and financial performance improvements required of the bank.

Dennis Hennett, the bank’s first CEO until he retired in 2008, came out of retirement at age 68, to lead the bank though the initial stages of the order in March, 2011 and Burdette followed it through for the past year.

The bank has improved its capital position by bringing its Tier 1 capital ratio to 9.08 percent and its total risk-weighted capital ratio to 15.14 percent as of Dec. 31, 2012.  The consent order required the bank to maintain a Tier 1 capital ratio of at least 8 percent and a total risk-weighted capital ratio of at least 10 percent.

Significant improvements have been made in earnings performance with a reversal of losses for several consecutive profitable quarters.  The company reported a net income of $4.1 million for 2012 compared to a $2.1 million net loss for the 2011. 

“These corrective actions reflect positively on the bank and our entire team is to be commended for their outstanding effort and hard work to achieve these improvements,” Burdette said.

“The past few years have been challenging for many businesses and consumers.  With the accomplishments we have made, we feel this improves our market position as we continue to provide the financial solutions needed by the local and surrounding communities now and in the future.”

The bank has been in operations for 25 years. It serves the greater Greer community with three branch offices and a fourth in Taylors.

Businesses mentioned in this article.

Greer State Bank

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