|For immediate release|
The Federal Reserve Board today announced its approval of the application of Community Capital Bancshares, Inc. to become a bank holding company by acquiring Albany Bank & Trust, N.A., both in Albany, Georgia.
Attached is the Board's Order relating to this action.
Community Capital Bancshares, Inc.
Community Capital Bancshares, Inc. ("CCB") has requested the Board's approval under section 3(a)(1) of the Bank Holding Company Act ("BHC Act") (12 U.S.C. §1842(a)(1)) to become a bank holding company by acquiring all the voting shares of Albany Bank & Trust, N.A., Albany, Georgia ("Bank"), a de novo bank.
Notice of the proposal, affording interested persons an opportunity to submit comments, has been published (64 Federal Register 9155 (1999)). The time for filing comments has expired, and the Board has considered the proposal and all comments received in light of the factors set forth in section 3 of the BHC Act.
CCB is a corporation formed for the purpose of acquiring control of Bank.1 The Board previously has noted that establishment of a de novo bank enhances competition in the relevant banking market and is a positive consideration in an application under section 3 of the BHC Act.2 Accordingly, the Board concludes that consummation of the proposal would not have a significantly adverse effect on competition or on the concentration of banking resources in any relevant banking market and that competitive considerations are consistent with approval. Based on all the facts of record, the Board also concludes that the financial and managerial resources and future prospects of CCB and Bank are consistent with approval of the proposal, as are the other supervisory factors the Board must consider under section 3 of the BHC Act.
The Board also has considered carefully the effect of the proposal on the convenience and needs of the communities to be served in light of all the facts of record, including a comment submitted on behalf of Business Research and Development, Albany, Georgia ("Commenter"). Commenter contends that Bank will not adequately serve the credit and banking needs of minorities nor of low- and moderate-income ("LMI") individuals and neighborhoods in the Albany area. Commenter also contends that Bank has not sufficiently marketed its proposed products and services to African Americans in Albany.3
Bank is a de novo insured depository institution and, accordingly, has no record of performance under the Community Reinvestment Act (12 U.S.C. §2901 et seq.) ("CRA"). Bank, however, has established a comprehensive CRA plan that details the products and services that Bank intends to offer to assist in meeting the credit, service and investment needs of Bank's entire community, including LMI neighborhoods. For example, Bank plans to offer a variety of housing-related loans, including first- and second-mortgages, home equity, and home improvement loans. Bank also plans to originate small business loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration and lines of credit to help agricultural borrowers meet seasonal demand for credit. In addition, Bank intends to make available consumer loans and student loans to assist in meeting the credit needs of its local community, and to offer workshops in LMI neighborhoods on basic money management skills and the fundamentals of maintaining a bank account. Bank also would offer several types of deposit accounts, including a checking account with a $100 minimum balance, no monthly maintenance fees, and unlimited check-writing privileges.4
Bank's CRA plan provides that Bank will actively market its products and services throughout its community, including LMI neighborhoods, in several ways, including direct mail and telemarketing programs and the sponsorship of community programs. Bank also has held three public forums in the Albany area to inform members of the local community about Bank's proposed products and services,5 and Bank plans to hold an additional three public forums in the Albany area before commencing operations. The Board notes, moreover, that Bank's President and Chief Executive Officer and Bank's Executive Vice President and Senior Loan Officer recently served in management positions at insured depository institutions that received "outstanding" ratings at their most recent CRA performance evaluation by their appropriate federal supervisory agency.
As noted above, the OCC recently approved Bank's application for a national bank charter after considering Bank's proposed assessment area and plans to meet the credit needs of the local community, including LMI areas, in light of substantially similar comments filed by Commenter. Consistent with the CRA, Bank has delineated a local assessment area within which the OCC, Bank's appropriate federal supervisory agency, will evaluate the performance of Bank under the CRA in future examinations.6 Bank's delineated assessment area includes all of Dougherty County and the southern half of Lee County, both in Georgia. Bank's assessment area includes all of Albany and does not arbitrarily exclude LMI areas.
Based on all the facts of record, and for reasons discussed above, the Board concludes that considerations relating to the convenience and needs factor are consistent with approval of the application. The Board notes that the OCC will evaluate Bank's actual record of meeting the credit needs of the Albany community, including LMI neighborhoods, in future CRA performance examinations of Bank, and the Board will carefully consider that record in acting on future applications by CCB to acquire an insured depository institution.
Based on the foregoing, and in light of all the facts of record, the Board has determined that the application should be, and hereby is, approved.7 The Board's approval is specifically conditioned on compliance by CCB with all the commitments made in connection with the application. For the purpose of this action, the commitments and conditions relied on by the Board in reaching its decision are deemed to be conditions imposed in writing by the Board in connection with its findings and decision and, as such, may be enforced in proceedings under applicable law.8
The acquisition of Bank shall not be consummated before the fifteenth calendar day after the effective date of this order, or later than three months after the effective date of this order, and Bank shall be open for business within six months following the effective date of this order, unless such periods are extended for good cause by the Board or the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, acting pursuant to delegated authority.
By order of the Board of Governors,9 effective April 12, 1999.
(signed) Robert deV. Frierson
Robert deV. Frierson
1 The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ("OCC") recently approved Bank's application for a national bank charter, subject to the Board's approval of this application. See Letter from John O. Stein, II, Corporate Manager, Southeastern District Office, to Robert E. Lee, dated February 9, 1999.
2 See CFBanc Holdings, Inc., 85 Federal Reserve Bulletin 52 (1999); Wilson Bank Holding Co., 82 Federal Reserve Bulletin 568 (1996).
3 Commenter also contends that African Americans are not fairly represented in the management of CCB and Bank. The racial composition of an applicant's management is not a factor the Board is permitted to consider in acting on an application under section 3 of the BHC Act. The Board notes that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has jurisdiction to determine whether banking organizations such as CCB and Bank are in compliance with Federal equal employment opportunity statutes under the regulations of the Department of Labor. See 41 C.F.R. 60-1.7(a), 60-1.40.
4 Bank also plans to establish an additional branch in downtown Albany during its third year of operation. This branch would further increase Bank's ability to serve the banking and credit needs of its community, including African-American and LMI residents of Albany.
5 Before holding these public forums, Bank advertised the date, location, and purpose of the forums in a newspaper of general circulation in the Albany area.
6 See 12 C.F.R. 25.41(a).
7 Commenter has requested that the Board hold public meetings or hearings on the proposal. Section 3(b) of the BHC Act does not require the Board to hold a public hearing on an application unless the appropriate supervisory authority for the bank to be acquired makes a timely written recommendation of denial. The Board has not received such a recommendation from the OCC.
Under its rules, the Board also may, in its discretion, hold a public meeting or hearing on an application to acquire a bank if a meeting or hearing is necessary or appropriate to clarify factual issues related to the application and to provide an opportunity for testimony, if appropriate. 12 C.F.R. 225.16(e). The Board has carefully considered Commenter's request in light of all the facts of record. In the Board's view, Commenter has had ample opportunity to submit its views, and did submit written comments that have been carefully considered by the Board in acting on the proposal. Commenter's request fails to demonstrate why its written comments do not adequately present its evidence and fails to identify disputed issues of fact that are material to the Board's decision that would be clarified by a public meeting or hearing. For these reasons, and based on all the facts of record, the Board has determined that a public meeting or hearing is not required or warranted in this case.
8 Commenter also has requested that the Board delay action on the proposal for at least 90 days. The Board is required under applicable law and its processing procedures to act on applications submitted under the BHC Act within a specified time. The Board has reviewed Commenter's request in light of these requirements and the record compiled in this case. As noted above, Commenter was afforded ample opportunity to comment and its comments were carefully considered. Based on a review of all the facts of record, the Board concludes that the record in this case is sufficient to warrant Board action on the proposal at this time, and further delay is not warranted.
9 Voting for this action: Chairman Greenspan, Vice Chair Rivlin, and Governors Kelley, Meyer, Ferguson, and Gramlich.
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1999 Orders on banking applications