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New Bank President Hopes To Lease Space Soon, Open By April

Judy Turner, formerly of Decatur First Bank, will be the president of the Private Bank of Decatur.

The Private Bank of Buckhead is moving ahead with plans to open a branch in Decatur, and new branch president Judy Turner hopes to secure office space by the end of the week and open for business in April.

"We have proposals from several different landlords in Decatur," Turner said Tuesday in a telephone interview. "I'm hoping by the end of the week we'll have a lease signed."

The branch, which will be named the Private Bank of Decatur, is looking for about 5,000 square feet on the ground floor of a building, she said. That amount of space would allow the bank to have about 10 employees.

However, she said most of the available office space in Decatur is in the 2,300-3,000 square feet range.

One of the familiar faces will be Melanie Funk, who was Turner's assistant at Decatur First. She'll be a personal banker at the new bank.

Turner said there's no chance the branch will move into the old offices of Decatur First Bank on Commerce Drive. Turner was the top executive of Decatur First, which the state shut down in October.

The Decatur First space was not offered and, with about 10,000 squre feet, is much too big anyway, she said.

Turner said the Private Bank of Decatur will provide a wide range of banking services. The name shouldn't scare away potential customers, she said, because "private bank" is meant "to convey a level of service that they can expect," not exclusivity.

To open the branch, the Private Bank of Buckhead needs approval from the state and the FDIC, Turner said. She foresees no problems in obtaining that approval and "would lov to be open the first of April."

, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as receiver.

To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Fidelity Bank to assume all of the deposits of Decatur First Bank.

Fidelity Bank Chairman James B. Miller told Patch

According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, "Fidelity agreed to take on Decatur First's $191.5 million in assets, entering into a loss-share agreement with the FDIC on $111.5 million of them. The deal cost the Deposit Insurance Fund about $33 million."

According to an online letter posted by Charlie Crawford, the president, CEO and chairman of the Private Bank of Buckhead, Decatur and the Private Bank of Decatur should be a good fit. He wrote:

These seasoned bankers have long served the Decatur market and are doing so again from the strength of an organization like ours. This is a great opportunity to introduce a broader market — in this case the people of Decatur — to the high-touch service model that Private Bank of Buckhead clients have come to know and embrace.

What do the people of Decatur need to know about us and our name? We take an egalitarian approach, believing that all clients should benefit from the private banking approach other banks reserve for a certain few.

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