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Banking & Finance

Darby Bank Adds Team of Experienced Bankers

SBJ Staff

11/09/2009 - Ask anyone in Georgia banking, and they’ll tell you that the rumor in the local banking community is that as many as 50 percent of the state’s banks are now operating under some form of cease and desist or will be by year’s end.

Local banks are regulated by one of the three federal regulatory agencies that oversee financial institutions, depending on whether it is a bank, a national bank, a credit union or a thrift.

So far, Darby Bank has not received a cease and desist from the FDIC, but Doug Yates, the bank’s new Savannah area city president, acknowledges that the bank is not in compliance with one of three capital tests.

He’s part of a new team of bankers brought in by Connie Williams, chairman of the board of Darby, a family-owned bank for more than 80 years, to lead the bank into the future and help it weather the current economic climate.

Yates, who took over Oct. 1, was most recently with SB&T in Greenville, S.C., and prior to that spent 13 years with Region’s bank as Upstate South Carolina president.  He has already brought in Davis Arnette to lead commercial lending, and Alan Ridley, both of whom were previously with him at Region’s.  

“Ridley has extensive experience in the credit industry, and with workouts,” Yates said in an interview on Oct. 29, and “Arnette has over 30 years of banking experience.” 

Darby is dealing with problem loans like many of Georgia’s coastal banks that did heavy lending to residential and commercial real estate developers, said Yates.

“The whole industry has the flu; it’s just a matter of degree, particularly for the coastal Georgia banks, though Atlanta banks have their problems, too,” he added.

“The bank’s board has a strategic plan in place that will deal with all of the aspects of what is going on,” Yates said. “It’s an 80-year-old bank, and the fundamentals are solid.”
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