Like many other banks throughout Georgia and across the country, Bartow County Bank has experienced a decrease in performance related to the economic downturn marked with declined real estate values and high unemployment rates. The bank has, however, remained proactive in making necessary adjustments to sturdy its position in the best interests of its customers, shareholders, employees and the community as a whole.
"We keep a very close eye on our performance," said Gary Fox, president and CEO of Bartow County Bank. "For more than a year now -- though our capital is considered within adequate levels by the regulators -- we've undertaken steps to bring our capital ratios higher, while also reducing the level of problem assets."
By signing into the consent order, the bank has agreed to work under regulator advisement to continue to raise its Tier 1 capital to at least 8 percent and its total risk-based capital to at least 10 percent, among other changes detailed in the order's progressive schedule. The agreement became effective on April 14.
"Though the agreement is new, we've been looking at everything prudently and operating under the same guidelines and goals outlined in the consent order for quite some time," Fox said.
Serving the community for 36 years now, Bartow County Bank has more than double the market share of any other bank in Bartow County. "We've seen our share of challenges, like any other, but are fortunate to have so many businesses and consumers in the community stand by us and support us in this crucial time, just as we have had the privilege of doing for them over the years," Fox said.
The bank states that it has been undergoing capital-raising efforts with private investors as well as businesses within the community and will continue to focus on doing so throughout the remainder of the year.
"Bartow County Bank's roots are right here in our community, where we plan to stay and keep getting stronger, better and wiser with every day that passes. I expect that we'll return to profitability toward the end of this year," Fox said. "And in the meantime, ... our customers can expect the same level of service they've always experienced, plus the security of knowing their deposits are protected and their community bank is intently committed to emerging into a future that shines bright with possibilities."
Bartow County Bank is the largest community bank in Bartow County with about $400 million in assets and four locations serving the financial needs of Cartersville and the surrounding area.
For more information, contact Fox at email@example.com, Kitty Kendrick, the bank's executive vice president and chief financial officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-387-8440, or visit www.bartowcountybank.com.