Thursday, June 25, 2009

Community Bankers Trust Corporation Announces Results of Annual Meeting of Stockholders and Conversion of Georgia Operations

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Community Bankers Trust Corporation, the holding company for Essex Bank (the “Company”) (NYSE Amex:BTC), announced that the Company held its annual meeting of stockholders on June 18, 2009. The annual meeting was the first meeting of stockholders since the Company merged with each of BOE Financial Services of Virginia, Inc. and TransCommunity Financial Corporation in May 2008. A copy of the materials that management presented to the Company’s stockholders at the meeting is publicly available on the “investor information” page of the Company’s internet web site at

The Company also announced that its stockholders approved all of the proposals that it presented at the annual meeting. These proposals included the approval of an amendment to the Company’s certificate of incorporation to increase the number of authorized shares of common stock from 50,000,000 to 200,000,000 and the approval of the Company’s 2009 Stock Incentive Plan. Other proposals were the election of P. Emerson Hughes, Jr., George M. Longest, Jr., John C. Watkins and Robin T. Williams to serve as directors for terms of three years, the approval of an advisory proposal relating to the Company’s executive compensation and the ratification of the appointment of the firm of Elliott Davis, LLC as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2009.

George M. Longest, Jr., the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We very much appreciate the support from all of our stockholders over the past year. Our industry has seen many challenges in the past 12 months, and we expect the remainder of 2009 to be equally as challenging. We are very proud of our growth during this time and what we have accomplished in a relatively short period of time, and we remain optimistic about our Company and its future.”

The Company also announced that, in June 2009, it successfully converted its Georgia banking operations into the Essex Bank systems platform. In November 2008, Essex Bank acquired certain assets and assumed all deposit liabilities relating to four former branch offices of The Community Bank, a Georgia state-chartered bank, from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, who acted as the receiver for The Community Bank after it was closed by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance. In connection with this transaction, Essex Bank purchased the former banking premises of The Community Bank and has operated them under the “Essex Bank” name since November 2008. The conversion completes the integration of the Georgia operations into Essex Bank’s operations.

The Company expects to complete the conversion of its Maryland banking operations, which Essex Bank acquired in another FDIC-assisted transaction, in August 2009. Essex Bank has operated the seven former branch offices of Suburban Federal Savings Bank under the “Essex Bank” name since January 2009.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements with respect to the Company’s operations, growth strategy and goals. Actual results may differ materially from those included in the forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including, without limitation, the effects of and changes in the following: general economic and market conditions, either nationally or locally; the interest rate environment; competitive pressures among banks and financial institutions or from companies outside the banking industry; real estate values; the quality or composition of the Company’s loan or investment portfolios; the demand for deposit, loan, and investment products and other financial services; the demand, development and acceptance of new products and services; consumer profiles and spending and savings habits; the securities and credit markets; costs associated with the integration of banking and other internal operations; the soundness of other financial institutions with which the Company does business; inflation; technology; and legislative and regulatory requirements. These factors and additional risks and uncertainties are described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 and other reports that the Company files with or furnishes to the Securities and Exchange Commission. This press release speaks only as of its date, and the Company disclaims any duty to update the information in it.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

SunTrust Announces Completion of Consent Solicitation

/PRNewswire / -- SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI) announced today the successful completion of its previously announced solicitation of consents to amend the Amended and Restated Declaration of Trust of SunTrust Preferred Capital I. SunTrust has received approval of the holders of record (as of May 29, 2009) of a majority in aggregate liquidation amount outstanding of the 5.853% Fixed-to-Floating Rate Normal PPS, liquidation amount $1,000 per security of SunTrust Preferred Capital I (the "Normal PPS").

The amendment to the Amended and Restated Declaration of Trust will permit SunTrust to retire any Normal PPS tendered and accepted as part of SunTrust's outstanding offer to purchase up to $750 million aggregate liquidation preference or amount of certain securities, including certain of the issued and outstanding Normal PPS (the "Tender Offer"). The amendment is necessary in order for SunTrust to realize the full accounting benefit arising out of the acquisition of Normal PPS pursuant to the Tender Offer. The amendment will become effective upon execution and delivery by SunTrust and the trustees of SunTrust Preferred Capital I.

SunTrust's ongoing Tender Offer for certain of its outstanding preferred and hybrid securities, which is scheduled to expire at 11:59 p.m., New York City time, on Friday, June 26 and settle on Tuesday, June 30, is being made pursuant to an Offer to Purchase and related letter of transmittal, as amended, copies of which are available without charge from the Information Agent for the Tender Offer, D.F. King & Co., who may be reached toll-free at (800) 735-3107, and banks and brokers can call collect at (212) 269-5550. This communication is for information purposes only and does not constitute an offer to buy or the solicitation of an offer to sell securities in the Tender Offer. The Offer to Purchase, as amended, and other related documents were filed with the SEC on Schedule TO on June 1, 2009 and on Amendment No. 3 to Schedule TO filed on June 15, 2009 and may be obtained without charge at the SEC's internet site ( Holders of eligible securities are urged to read the Offer to Purchase and related letter of transmittal which include important information about the Tender Offer.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Cherokee Bank Enters Into Agreement With Regulator

/PRNewswire/ -- Cherokee Banking Company (OTC:CHKJ) (BULLETIN BOARD: CHKJ) , the holding company of Cherokee Bank, N.A., today announced that the bank has signed an agreement with the Comptroller of the Currency aimed at solving issues related to the downturn in the economy and housing market. The "Consent Order" primarily outlines actions to improve the bank's capitalization and credit quality.

"In response to the collapse of the housing and real estate markets, we proactively initiated our own strategic plan in June 2008 aimed at ensuring that we remain a safe and sound institution," said Dennis Burnette, president and chief executive officer. "The actions in our plan are aligned with the requirements in the Consent Order, primarily, increasing our capital ratio over and above our level at March 31, 2009, which was categorized as 'well-capitalized', as well as maintaining an adequate level of liquidity and reducing our problem assets. We plan to continue progressing along the path toward the benchmarks we have established and look forward to continuing to work closely with our regulator to do so."

One benchmark calls for the company to achieve a minimum Total Risk-Based capital ratio of 12 percent and Tier 1 capital ratio of at least 8 percent. The company already has undertaken a three-year strategic plan aimed at achieving these levels.

The agreement has no impact on deposit and retirement accounts, which continue to be insured for a minimum of $250,000 per depositor by the FDIC through December 2009. Additionally, most types of business checking accounts are insured without limit due to Cherokee Bank's participation in the FDIC's Transaction Account Guarantee Program.

"As we complete the processes outlined in the agreement, we will continue to operate as normal, providing friendly, personalized service to our clients," said Burnette.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

BB&T pays Treasury more than $3.1 billion to exit TARP

/PRNewswire / -- BB&T Corporation (NYSE:BBT) today said it has exited the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, by buying back the preferred stock sold to the U.S. Treasury Department under the Capital Purchase Program last November.

BB&T will pay approximately $3.1 billion to the Treasury to repurchase the preferred stock, plus a final dividend payment of about $13.9 million, bringing BB&T's total dividend payments under TARP to approximately $92.7 million.

"This was, in fact, an excellent investment for the American taxpayer," said BB&T Chief Executive Officer Kelly King. "Our strong capital position allowed us to pay back TARP in a very short amount of time. But what's important today is that we've repaid the government, and now we have a singular focus on the business of serving our clients.

"Throughout this period, BB&T has experienced very good loan growth," King said. "We will continue to actively pursue and make every good loan we can find."

BB&T has notified the Treasury of its intent to repurchase the outstanding warrant associated with TARP, which allows the Treasury to purchase up to 13.9 million shares of the company's common stock. Any adjustment resulting from the repurchase of the outstanding warrant will be accounted for in the second or third quarter of 2009.

With $143.4 billion in assets, Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T Corporation is the nation's 10th largest financial holding company. Founded in 1872, it operates more than 1,500 financial centers in 11 states and Washington, D.C. More information about the company is available at

This news release contains certain forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may address issues that involve significant risks, uncertainties, estimates and assumptions made by management. Actual results may differ materially from current projections. Please refer to BB&T's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a summary of important factors that may affect BB&T's forward-looking statements. BB&T undertakes no obligation to revise these statements following the date of this news release.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

SunTrust and Delta to Introduce New SkyMiles Check Cards

/PRNewswire/ -- SunTrust Banks, Inc., (NYSE: STI) and Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) today announced consumers and businesses will soon be able to earn Delta miles on all signature-based purchases made with a new SunTrust SkyMiles Check Card, launching June 22. This will be the first time Delta has offered mileage-earning opportunities through a check card, and is the first co-branded check card relationship for SunTrust.

The SunTrust SkyMiles Check Cards meet a growing demand among Delta and SunTrust clients for a check card that earns airline miles. It also reinforces SunTrust's pledge to help clients with responsible financial management through its "Live Solid. Bank Solid" campaign.

"Today, more than ever, consumers are looking for ways to better control their finances and make smart purchasing decisions," said Hugh Gallagher, SunTrust's senior vice president for deposit product management. "The SunTrust SkyMiles Check Card encourages consumers and businesses alike to spend wisely while earning Delta miles. We're very pleased to partner with Delta on this great product."

For every purchase made with an authorized signature, cardholders earn miles that can be redeemed for Award Travel to nearly 400 destinations Delta and its partner airlines serve across the world. There is no mileage-earning cap with a SunTrust SkyMiles Check Card so cardholders can earn unlimited miles. Now in its 28th year, SkyMiles is one of the longest-running and most successful loyalty programs in the travel industry.

"Our SkyMiles members have told us they want a mileage-earning check card, particularly in these challenging economic times," said Jeff Robertson, Delta's vice president of loyalty programs. "SunTrust is a strong banking partner that matches our customer base in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. These new cards provide our members with additional options and value while strengthening our overall portfolio of card offerings."

Starting at just $20, the SunTrust SkyMiles Check Card features the lowest annual fees of any competing airline check card rewards program, and offers the convenience and security of a SunTrust Visa Check Card.

Three cards will be available - two for consumers and one for small- to medium-sized businesses:

-- SkyMiles Classic Check Card - consumers earn one mile for every $2
purchased and 2,500 bonus miles for the first signature purchase. The
annual Card fee is $20.
-- SkyMiles Platinum Check Card - consumers earn one mile for every $1
purchased, 5,000 bonus miles for the first signature purchase and a
complimentary Delta Sky Club Day Pass valued at $50. The annual Card
fee is $55.
-- SkyMiles Business Check Card - businesses earn one mile for every $1
purchased, 5,000 bonus miles for the first signature purchase and a
complimentary Delta Sky Club Day Pass valued at $50. The annual Card
fee is $55.

Beginning June 22, consumers can open SunTrust checking accounts with the new SkyMiles Check Card. Existing SunTrust consumer and business checking clients can also upgrade their existing check cards to the SkyMiles Check Card. For more information on the SunTrust SkyMiles Check Cards, consumers may call 1-877- SUNTRUST to speak with a representative or visit a local SunTrust branch.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

One in Seven Seniors Faces Social Security Check Cuts in 2010

/PRNewswire / -- Close to seven million seniors -- one in every seven -- will receive a smaller Social Security check next year, according to a new analysis by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). Millions of other seniors who do not have their Medicare premiums automatically deducted from their checks will also have fewer Social Security dollars leftover next year.

These seniors will be affected because their Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) is forecast to be zero next year, while their Medicare Part B (doctors' visits, tests, and outpatient hospital care), Part C (Medicare Advantage) and/or Part D (prescription drugs) premiums are forecast to rise.

Affected seniors generally fall into one of two groups, if not both:

1. MEDICARE PART B: HOLD HARMLESS PROVISION: Approximately three million
seniors will endure cuts because they are not protected by a "hold
harmless" provision that prevents the vast majority of beneficiaries
from receiving smaller Social Security checks in years when Medicare
Part B premiums exceed the COLA. Two groups of seniors will not receive
hold harmless protection in 2010:
a. MEANS TESTING: 2,121,500 beneficiaries who pay higher premiums due
to Part B "means testing." Individuals with adjusted gross incomes
(AGI) above $85,000 and couples over $170,000 are affected.
b. NEW ENROLLEES: 848,000 new enrollees will pay the 2010 premium
rate, forecast by Medicare's Trustees to be $104.20 per month,
instead of the current rate of $96.40 per month that tens of
millions of seniors will continue to pay next year due to hold

2. MEDICARE PARTS C & D: More than 3.8 million other seniors will see
smaller Social Security checks next year due solely to likely increases
in Medicare Parts C and D, for which no hold harmless provision exists.
Note: Millions of other seniors will also be affected, as our estimate
includes just those who will have automatic reductions to their Social
Security checks. Additional millions of seniors who pay plans directly
will also have fewer Social Security dollars leftover next year.

"It's bad enough that seniors will have to endure rising costs next year without an increase in their Social Security checks -- but to actually cut checks for millions of seniors in this economy borders on cruelty," said Daniel O'Connell, TSCL chairman. "Our members are already unable to afford their prescriptions, rent, and air conditioning. We simply can't survive year-after-year of cuts."

A majority of those aged 65 and over who receive a Social Security check depend on it for at least 50 percent of their total income, and one in three beneficiaries rely on it for 90 percent or more of their total income.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Volcker Says Full Economic Recovery is Years Away

/PRNewswire / -- Speaking yesterday to 500 Brooklyn Law School graduates at their commencement, Paul A. Volcker, Chair of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, said a full economic recovery is years away, and the U.S. must eventually cut back on borrowing from abroad. Mr. Volcker is widely credited with taming runaway double-digit inflation in the 1980s when he served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

A transcript of the speech is available at the Brooklyn Law School Web site,

Mr. Volcker said the nation has long been spending beyond its means. The U.S. faces "an unimaginable budget deficit as far as one can see," he said. The recession, which began in December 2007, "is bound to be the longest recession since World War II and could turn out to be the deepest as well."

He said that new regulations are necessary to prevent another crisis. "In my view, as joined by many others, sweeping reforms are truly necessary, in banking, in markets, and in our regulatory institutions," Mr. Volcker said.

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