Park Avenue Bank Closes

By: Dontaye Carter; AP Email
By: Dontaye Carter; AP Email

[UPDATE] 4-30 6:30 PM

The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance closed the Park Avenue Bank Friday.

Back in December 2010, the bank was given until March of this year to raise more investor cash or to sell itself.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was named the receiver Friday and sold the institution to the Bank of the Ozarks.

The F-D-I-C says money held in the bank is safe.

"The important thing for customers to know is nobody lost any money on deposit. The other important thing is customers can continue to use the same checks, atm cards, debit cards, all direct deposits will stay the same," says FDIC Spokesperson Roberta Valdez.

The F-D-I-C says it's policy for banks is to not tell customers if a bank is failing.

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5 banks fail in Fla., Ga., Mich.; makes 39 in '11

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Regulators have shut down a total of five
banks in Florida, Georgia and Michigan, lifting the number of U.S.
bank failures this year to 39. That follows 157 bank closures in
2010 in a limping economy and mounting soured loans.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Friday seized the banks:
First National Bank of Central Florida, based in Winter Park, Fla.,
with $352 million in assets; Cortez Community Bank of Brooksville,
Fla., with $70.9 million in assets; First Choice Community Bank of
Dallas, Ga., with $308.5 million in assets; Park Avenue Bank, based
in Valdosta, Ga., with $953.3 million in assets; and Community
Central Bank in Mount Clemens, Mich., with $476.3 million in
assets.

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[UPDATE] 9:26pm

On Friday, April 29, 2011, The Park Avenue Bank, Valdosta, GA was closed by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance. Subsequently, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was named Receiver. No advance notice is given to the public when a financial institution is closed.

All deposit accounts, excluding the Cede & Co. deposits, have been transferred to Bank of the Ozarks, Little Rock, AR. For more information on Bank of the Ozarks, visit us at www.bankozarks.com.

The FDIC has assembled useful information regarding your relationship with The Park Avenue Bank. Besides a checking account, you may have Certificates of Deposit, a business checking account, a Social Security direct deposit, and other relationships with the institution.

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For nearly seven years, Park Avenue Bank is the place Joesph Williams let safeguard his finances.

But with the bank facing it's recent troubles, Williams is starting to worry.

"I feel real bad about it because I didn't know the bank was in trouble," said Williams.

On November 30th, the Federal Reserve's board of governors ordered the bank to raise investor cash or sell itself under the Prompt Corrective Action.

The bank's president, Jay Torbert said in a statement, "We acknowledge our problems, and we have submitted a capital plan to our regulators addressing our efforts to correct these problems. Our plan involves raising additional capital and disposing of the problem assets on our balance sheet. It is important to note that our regulators have accepted this plan, and by issuing this PCA they are providing us with the necessary time to complete our plan."

Tolbert says when the real estate market tanked, many banks felt the impact but the big ones got bailouts and the small ones were left to fend for themselves.

And many residents say it's just a hump the bank needs to get over.

"I hate to hear this is going to happen or not. I hope it don't happen. I believe they'll come over it," said Clinnis Washington.

That is something the Federal Reserve is giving Park Avenue Bank and others like it, 90 days to figure out.

Park Avenue has branches across Georgia and Florida. It has more than one billion dollars in assets and 895 million in deposits.


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  • by New Begining Location: Lake Park on May 1, 2011 at 05:37 AM
    I think and hope the Bank of the Ozark will thrive here! Is time to bring new blood if Valdosta-Lowndes claims to be a progressive metropolitan city! The first thing the Ozarks need to do is get rid off the Lake Park branch witches, they are nasty as can be!!!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 1, 2011 at 07:54 AM in reply to New Begining
      Amen!
    • reply
      by I agree on May 2, 2011 at 05:46 AM in reply to New Begining
      Boy you are not kidding. I've been banking there for nearly 14 yrs since we moved here. There used to be such nice people there, now all that's left are "witches". Even the ones I knew for so long, had attitudes. Customer service should be #1 these days, that's what will set a business above the rest. (side note:The folks at First State Bank are snobs too) Sure do hope we see some changes in personnel.
  • by Happy Location: Valdosta on Apr 30, 2011 at 02:52 PM
    Lost my job and ask PAB to temporary adjust my mortgage payments for 6 months, until I got a new job. Told the bank officer I had never been late since I had the mortgage and I would pay back the difference within 6 months of the adjustment. PAB was not interested and started foreclosure. Sorry customer service and Happy the bank officers are being kick out on the street. Only problem the name Bank of Ozark will never fly in Valdosta. I have lived here for 6 years and I am still a carpetbagger in their eyes. Old Southern town with set ways..To bad Bank of Ozark...
    • reply
      by Happy too! on May 1, 2011 at 06:51 AM in reply to Happy
      This is a shame. This is why they're in the mess they're in. I think Bank of the Ozark's will bring a breath of fresh air to Valdosta. I hope the bank looks at each employee carefully. "don't complain about the results you get if you change none of the actions that produced those results." In other words....It's not good to let the same fox guard the hen house if you keep having chicks go missing.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 1, 2011 at 02:33 PM in reply to Happy
      It is business. You know you had payments to make. It is not the bank's fault you can not pay. You owe the bank to pay them on time, they do not owe you any delay in foreclosure. This is the problem with America. Take responsibility for your own things (actions, debts) don't depend on others to bend the rules for you because it isn't fair to everyone else that pays on time.
  • by victim in LP Location: Lake Park on Apr 30, 2011 at 02:25 PM
    Maybe if the employees stuck to business instead of gossiping and telling lies about their customers the bank would be in better shape. Lake Park is nothing but a gossip pit. The employees have very poor customer service skills. I'll be taking my money OUT Monday if FDIC and Bank of the Ozark can't make a great improvement with their customer service training plan and discipline policies for lying and gossiping about their customers. OR preferably removing those staff members. Why, just this morning to of the PAB employees for lying and gossiping in the parker lot about the bank and their customers. MMMMMM food for thought FDIC.
    • reply
      by witnes on May 1, 2011 at 07:57 AM in reply to victim in LP
      I was a witness to this event and one of the bank's management people is the one that said it! She did lie on the person she was talking about. I don't know if the person is a customer, but if she is and if it were me I would have a sit down meeting with that bank. It's senseless how those women in Lake Park act! It's no wonder they got robbed twice there's nothing business about this bank. It's all a dang joke to them.
  • by Valdosta Location: Valdosta on Apr 30, 2011 at 02:24 PM
    DW you should know more about what you are talking about before you post comments. Do you really think an entire financial institution is going to fail because of 4 or 5 tellers??? There are 4 other locations in Lowndes County. Try one of those out someday. You may be happier with the customer service you recieve. The bank closing is a very sad. PAB has been an icon of Valdosta for years!!!
    • reply
      by DW on May 19, 2011 at 02:03 PM in reply to Valdosta
      A financial institution is only as strong as its weakest link. Why should I drive 25 miles north for friendly service when the main reason I chose PAB was due to their proximity to my home etc. Financial institutions go bkrpt due to mismanagement or lack of service, or possibly both. It's an outrageous example of fiduciary irresponsibility on their part and don't feel to sorry for the bank as it still employs the same crews at every branch. And don't forget the board members, they're laughing all the way to the bank! They cashed out and are enjoying the windfall. Let's not forget the preferred stock options that were cashed out as well, and I'm sure the par value wasn't @ .15. To answer your question, Do you really think an entire financial institution is going to fail because of 4 or 5 tellers??? I had 4 accounts and transfered them to a more gracious host. 100k they could have used to provide loans but after 12 years I'd had enough. What about the employees who got burned on PABK shares which peaked around $16. I don't see the board members deferring any cash to them. You can love the name PAB but the bank as unit had too many cracks in service and too much greed at the top. The result is not new and will be repeated many times over! Rudeness always comes back to bite one's rear !
  • by DW Location: Lake Park GA on Apr 30, 2011 at 09:00 AM
    It's no wonder the bank failed. The drive through window in the Lake Park branch made me feel as though they were doing me a favor when I needed assistance in depositing or withdrawing funds. Rudeness always comes back to bite one's rear... Suntrust and Bank of A. staff is much more helpful and always has a smile. PAB should have employed people who wanted to work rather than collect a paycheck.
    • reply
      by victim in LP on Apr 30, 2011 at 02:27 PM in reply to DW
      I hear ya. They were probably preoccupied with idol gossip and lies they tell about their customers. I hope everyone of the employees at Lake Park get what they deserve.
      • reply
        by DW on May 19, 2011 at 02:10 PM in reply to victim in LP
        To my surprise, the staff is the same. I drove with a neighbor thru the window lane and the same sad sacks. What a riot. They're more interested about their f-book updates probably. The lake park branch will probably be closed within 2 yrs, just wait and see...
  • by Stumpknocker on Apr 30, 2011 at 08:23 AM
    Probably a few "carpetbagger" bankers are leading the way with false inside information to lessor bankers and cashing in.
  • by yesudid Location: there on Apr 30, 2011 at 04:25 AM
    obamas plan is working,just like chavez
  • by Ex Location: Employee on Jan 31, 2011 at 03:26 PM
    It's comical how the same idiots that got them into trouble are still employed at the failing bank. The employees that tried desperately to help diversify their portfolio of ridiculous real estate loans are now unemployed. Can't wait for the greedy idiots to get what they deserve!
  • by Another ex-customer Location: Florida on Jan 9, 2011 at 03:42 PM
    In addition to the above problems, Reuters reported that Director Bradford Burnette was paid $1,809,870 in 2009 by PAB Bankshares at a time when the bank was loosing millions of dollars. Last month Nicole Stokes resigned as Executive Vice President and CFO. Public records also show that Thompson Kurrie Jr. is Vice Chairman of the Board of PAB Bankshares and a partner with the law firm Coleman Talley LLP which also represents the bank in legal matters. With Mr. Kurrie on the board of PAB Bankshares it appears Coleman Talley is complicit in this activity. Look at the lawyers’ role in the likely failure of Park Ave. Bank
  • by Ex-Customer Location: Valdosta on Dec 29, 2010 at 07:20 PM
    If they had stayed with the original concept of Mr. Dewar and stayed a community bank, none of this would have happened. Bunch of newbies hired to run the place decided to penetrate the Atlanta market and got burned. Wrong people got laid off, in my opinion. Need to toss those idiots who got them in this trouble and not a bunch of little people
    • reply
      by Youstupidpeople! on Sep 16, 2011 at 11:46 AM in reply to Ex-Customer
      Just found this old blog..........too bad you all won't be back after so many months (to read this post). You are all a bunch of stupid people! You are typical of people in our society who have nothing to do but point fingers! None of you are better than the people you are targeting here. You all need to get over it! The economy made fools of all of us .... you included! Maybe by now some of you found out just how smart (stupid) you are!
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