Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Regions Bank Names Bill Linginfelter as Area Executive in North Georgia/Atlanta

BUSINESS WIRE--Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE: RF) has named Bill Linginfelter as area executive in North Georgia/Atlanta. His responsibilities include sales and service for customers served from 111 Regions banking locations, located in Metro-Atlanta and over 25 North Georgia counties.

Most recently, Linginfelter served as Georgia Chief Executive Officer for Wachovia Bank, a position he also held at one time with SouthTrust Bank. In addition, Linginfelter served as director of SouthTrusts Enterprise Banking, which oversaw business activities in the banks largest markets. The announcement of Linginfelters hiring follows current Regions North Georgia/Atlanta Area Executive C.B. Fairs decision to retire.

We are ecstatic to add someone of Bills experience and character to lead our efforts in North Georgia and Atlanta. With his background and expertise, he is a great fit for Regions, said Regions Sam Tortorici, president of the companys Central Region. We know that we are in good hands with Bills leadership. I also want to thank C.B. for his 35 years of dedicated service to Regions and wish him well as he transitions into retirement.

I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Regions efforts in a community that Ive served for nearly 30 years, said Linginfelter. Regions has an experienced team of bankers and strong branch presence in Atlanta and North Georgia. We are well-positioned to serve the growing needs of this area.

Linginfelter received his bachelors degree from the University of Georgia and is a graduate of the Louisiana State University Graduate School of Banking. He serves on the Executive Board of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and is vice chair of the Georgia Research Alliance. In addition, he holds leadership roles with the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, the Buckhead Coalition, the Atlanta Speech School, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and the Woodruff Arts Center. In 2006, he chaired the Metro Atlanta United Way campaign and in 2004 and 2005 chaired the Atlanta United Negro College Fund campaign.

Omni Financial Services Receives Nasdaq Letter Granting Continued Listing

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Omni Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: OFSI) (the Company), the bank holding company for Omni National Bank, today reported that on June 18, 2008, the Company received a letter from the Nasdaq Hearings Panel notifying the Company that it has determined to grant the Companys request for continued listing on the Nasdaq Global Market subject to certain conditions. The conditions include the filing of the Companys Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2007 on or before July 15, 2008, and the filing of the Companys Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2008 on or before August 15, 2008. The Company must also be able to demonstrate compliance with all requirements for continued listing on the Nasdaq Global Market. In the event the Company is unable to comply with these requirements, its securities may be delisted from the Nasdaq Global Market.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

WGNB Corp. Announces Filing of Registration Statement for Rights Offering

BUSINESS WIRE--WGNB Corp. (NASDAQ:WGNB), the holding company for First National Bank of Georgia, announced today the filing of a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a rights offering to the holders of its common stock.

Through the registration statement, WGNB is offering up to $25,000,000 of the Companys 9% Series A Preferred Stock (9% Series A Preferred). Under the terms of the rights offering, common shareholders will receive one non-transferable subscription right to purchase the Companys 9% Series A Preferred for each share of common stock owned as of the record date. WGNB common shareholders may then purchase one share of the 9% Series A Preferred for $10.00 per each 2.423 subscription rights granted in this offering. A shareholder who fully exercises his or her rights may oversubscribe for additional shares of the 9% Series A Preferred at the same purchase price.

The Board of Directors has elected June 30, 2008 as the record date for the rights offering.

WGNB anticipates that the rights offering will begin in July 2008, subject to the effectiveness of the registration statement filed with the SEC, and will continue for up to thirty days thereafter. WGNB plans to use the proceeds of the rights offering for capital enhancement and general working capital purposes.

The securities are being offered by WGNB and represent new financing for the Company. Shareholders will receive a prospectus and subscription materials in the mail.

A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. The rights offering will only be made by means of a prospectus. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy these securities, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

How To Downsize Your Debt

(SPM Wire) Most Americans spend more than they earn or carry extra debt on their credit cards.

Getting out of debt can seem insurmountable, but can be accomplished with some simple frugal measures.

For starters, set out a budget, encourages debt management expert, Clarky Davis of TheDebtDiva.com.

"A budget is empowering," Davis says. "It's right there on paper… You know how much of your income goes to bills, how much goes to outstanding debt and how much is available for spending."

Here are some more tips from Davis:

Create a debt "snowball." Focus on your highest-interest credit card and pay as much as you can on that card first, while making at least the minimum payment on your other debts. When that card is paid off, add that amount to the next highest credit card and so on and so on. You'll pay off debts faster because you're applying larger and larger payments. You'll save on interest, too.

Pay your bills on time or early when you can.

Keep focused on getting out of debt, but set aside some money to create a savings cushion. Use this for unexpected expenses like car repairs, instead of credit cards.

Keep up your spirits. A recent study found that those who watched a sad movie clip were willing to spend four times more money on an item than those who watched a nature video.

For more tips visit Davis' Web site, TheDebtDiva.com.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Heritage Bank’s Parent Company, CCF Holding Company, Ranked Among Top 100 Community Banks Nationwide

The holding company for Heritage Bank, CCF Holding Company, has been ranked 77th among publicly traded community banks nationwide according to USBanker. The listing, which places Heritage Bank in the top three of all Georgia banks listed in the ranking, was based on three-year average return on equity.

“This is good news at a time where there is not a lot of good news being shared in the financial industry, and each of Heritage Bank’s employees has contributed to this honor,” said Leonard Moreland, Executive Vice President of CCF Holding Company and CEO of Heritage Bank. “We are a community bank that delivers results, and our company’s 54-year heritage is a direct result of our team’s pride in their work and dedication to excellence.”

Heritage Bank, a state chartered commercial bank, has been serving metro Atlanta’s Southern Crescent since 1955. The independent community bank has seven full service offices, features a well-rounded offering of commercial and consumer products, and is an active, involved member of the community it serves. The company’s stock is traded on The NASDAQ Small Cap Market under the symbol “CCFH.” For more information, please call 770-478-8881 or visit the Heritage Bank website at www.heritagebank.com.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

SunTrust Extends Deposit Cut-Off Time for Online Check Deposit Service

/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE:STI) announced today that it has extended the daily deposit cut-off time for its Online Check Deposit service from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. ET -- a market-leading deadline. This additional three hours provides an even longer window for clients to receive same-day credit for checks and other eligible items deposited through Online Check Deposit. The service allows businesses to save time by using a SunTrust certified scanner to capture check images and transmit them electronically to SunTrust from their office.

"As current economic conditions continue to make every dollar count more and pressure businesses to find ways to improve efficiencies around daily cash management tasks, we're pleased to offer this enhancement to the service and provide faster access to their cash," says David Fuller, executive vice president and division head of SunTrust Treasury & Payment Solutions. "With Online Check Deposit, clients can focus more on the success of their businesses and less on the day-to-day administrative tasks -- such as driving to the bank."

To learn more about the benefits of Online Check Deposit and to view a demo please visit: www.suntrust.com/onlinecheckdeposit .

Monday, June 16, 2008

Citizens Trust Bank Recognized Among Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Top 100

PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Citizens Bancshares Corporation (BULLETIN BOARD: CZBS) , the holding company of Citizens Trust Bank, has ranked within The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's top 100 Georgia based public companies in 2008. In this very challenging and uncertain financial market it is difficult for many banks to maintain, let alone prosper. Citizens Trust Bank (CTB) wasn't just able to make the list which includes several Fortune 500 Companies, but has moved up in the ranking since last year making this the second consecutive year that CTB's efforts have been recognized.

This is the 15th year that the AJC has published the Georgia 100 Best of Business list, celebrating the accomplishments of Georgia companies based on several categories including revenue, total return on investment, annual profit change, return on equity, and annual revenue change. The data was compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP who assembled the data from the respective companies' annual reports filed through the SEC. "Out of the hundreds of publicly owned companies within the state of Georgia, it is truly an honor and a privilege to be a part of Georgia's top 100 and to have received this prestigious award," says CTB President and CEO James Young.

In the selection process, each company is ranked in each of the five different categories and the total is calculated to determine the final score, with a lower score placing the company in a higher ranking. The compiled list describes where the Georgia companies are traded, through the NYSE, NASDAQ, AMEX, and unlisted stocks that are traded on the OTCBB.

For the complete listing of all companies and rankings, you can go to www.ajc.com.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

TSYS Signs Multi-Year Agreement with Globalcard of Mexico

BUSINESS WIRE --TSYS announced today that it has signed a payments processing agreement with Globalcard for the launch of its consumer card portfolio. Under terms of the agreement, TSYS will provide account processing services, risk management, portfolio management and reporting tools to Globalcard, a Mexican-based credit card company.

TSYS has been a major player in the Mexican card market for more than 15 years, and we chose its team for their vast knowledge of our credit card industry, said Juan Garay, general director of Globalcard. As we seek to expand our offerings to include better technology and greater service, partnering with a knowledgeable, strategic partner such as TSYS is critical to our long-term success.

Our agreement with Globalcard demonstrates our continued commitment to the Mexican credit card market, said M. Troy Woods, president and chief operating officer of TSYS. This partnership also stands as an example of the solid international growth our company is achieving as we continue to expand our global presence.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Mortgage Applications, Refi’s Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

RISMEDIA --The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending June 6. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, was 557.1, an increase of 10.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis from 502.3 one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 23% compared with the previous week and was down 16.5% compared with the same week one year earlier.

The Refinance Index increased 8.4% to 1622.1 from 1496.1 the previous week and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 12.8% to 376.2 from 333.6 one week earlier. The Conventional Purchase Index increased 11% while the Government Purchase Index (largely FHA) increased 17%.

The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is down 2.8% to 568.6 from 597.9. The four week moving average is up 1.7% to 353.8 from 354.3 for the Purchase Index, while this average is down 8% to 1835.6 from 2035.6 for the Refinance Index.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 39.8% of total applications from 40.6% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 10.3 from 8.7% of total applications from the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 6.24% from 6.17%, with points increasing to 1.12 from 1.06 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 5.78% from 5.7%, with points increasing to 1.12 from 1.06 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs increased to 6.87% from 6.8%, with points decreasing to 1.42 from 1.44 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

For more information, visit www.mortgagebankers.org.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

State of Georgia's Revenue Collecctions for May 2008 Cause Concerns

State of Georgia's Revenue Collections for May 2008 Cause Concerns: Governor Should Appoint Commission to Study Revenue Structure

The latest Georgia revenue figures released by the Department of Revenue show that revenues have declined by 0.1 percent through the first 11 months of the fiscal year. The Governor's FY 2008 revenue estimate is based on revenue growth of 2.7 percent. If revenue growth remains flat in June, the FY 2008 Georgia budget will be facing a $500 to $600 million shortfall.

"Because of the Governor's wise fiscal management over the past four years, the state has healthy reserve funds. These reserves put the Governor in a position to manage the economically driven revenue shortfalls without cutting vital government services," said Alan Essig, the executive director of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. The Revenue Shortfall Reserve (RSR) contains over $1.5 billion. If revenues remain sluggish throughout FY 2009, it is expected that almost all of the $1.5 billion of reserve funds would be needed to cover budget shortfalls.

"The continued revenue slowdown highlights the fiscal irresponsibility of those legislative leaders who proposed significant tax cuts this past legislative session. Along with this slowdown, there are continued needs, such as trauma care, full education funding, the mental health system, and health insurance for children who are eligible but not enrolled in Medicaid and PeachCare. In light of legislators wasting time with politically motivated tax cut rhetoric, the Governor should take the responsible action of establishing a blue ribbon commission to study the revenue and budget realities of Georgia," Essig concluded.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Synovus Plans to Combine National Bank of Walton County with AFB&T

BUSINESS WIRE--Synovus (NYSE: SNV), the Columbus, Georgia-based financial services company, today announced plans to combine the assets of two Synovus banks: National Bank of Walton County (NBWC), based in Monroe, Georgia with Athens First Bank and Trust (AFB&T), headquartered in Athens, Georgia. Synovus expects to complete the transfer of assets later this year, pending regulatory approval. The combined assets will be managed under the name of AFB&T.

Since these two banks operate in the same geographic area, sometimes overlapping in their service to customers, it is a natural fit to combine their resources under one name, said Fred L. Green III, President and COO of Synovus. Bringing together the teams at each bank will leverage Synovus presence in this market and offer customers increased access to bank offices and continued use of the diversified products and services they enjoy today.

J. William Bill Douglas will continue in his role as President and CEO of the expanded AFB&T. Benjamin E. Ben Garrett, current President and CEO of NBWC, will transition into an executive leadership role with AFB&T. Once the transfer of assets is complete, AFB&T will have a total asset size of $1.6 billion with 19 locations and 323 team members with a full range of products and services.

Customers of NBWC will now be doing business with AFB&T but will still enjoy the same local relationships with the expert bankers they know and trust, plus access to more locations, capital and products, Garrett said.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Fraudulent Refund Notification Purportedly From The IC3

Consumers need to be aware of e-mail schemes containing various versions of fraudulent refund notifications purportedly from the IC3 and the government of the United Kingdom. The e-mails claim the refunds are being made to compensate the recipients for their losses as victims of Internet fraud.

The perpetrators of this fraud use the names of people not associated with the IC3 but give them titles in an attempt to make the e-mails appear official. The perpetrators use the IC3's logo and the former name of the IC3, the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC), as well as the names of the Bank of England and the Metropolitan Police in the e-mails.

The e-mails promise refunds of thousands of dollars which are to be sent via bank wire transfer from the "bank of England" once the victim signs a "fund release order." The e-mails contain warnings that failure to sign the order will place the funds on hold and a penalty will be applied.

As with most spam, the content contains elements which are evidence of fraud such as: multiple spelling errors, poor grammar, agency names, signatures of officials and titles to appear authentic, and a warning for failure to comply. In some of the e-mails, the names of the officials do not match the signatures.

Consumers always need to be alert when they receive an unsolicited e-mail. Remember: do not open unsolicited e-mail or click on any links embedded in the e-mail, as they may contain a virus or malware.

If you have received an e-mail similar to this, please file a complaint at www.IC3.gov.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Chris Dardaman, CPA, CFP®, CIMA®, PFS Receives HONORS Award from FPA Georgia

The Financial Planning Association of Georgia has awarded Chris Dardaman with its HONORS Award at the association’s Regional Conference.

The HONORS award is given to people who have made a significant contribution to the Financial Planning profession while exhibiting high ethical standards, placing their clients' interests first and having a positive impact on both clients and professional colleagues.

“The Financial Planning Association of Georgia developed the HONORS Award to recognize financial planning professionals who act as role models to us all,” said Dave Polstra, a founding partner of Brightworth. “Chris works tirelessly to better the lives of the people around him, particularly his clients and peers in the financial services industry. We are extremely proud of his accomplishment.”

The Financial Planning Association of Georgia has nearly 800 members located throughout Georgia who specialize in the many aspects of financial planning, including investment planning, estate planning, retirement plans, and education funding.