BB&T to buy Colonial Bank

Published 12:02 am Monday, August 17, 2009

By By Kerry Whipple Bean

Colonial Bank customers can still access their accounts, despite purchase of those assets Friday by a North Carolina bank.
Colonial Bank, Alabama’s second-largest bank, on Friday became the largest U.S. bank to fail in 2009, with the Alabama Banking Department taking over  and deposit accounts transferred to BB&T Corp. of North Carolina. Montgomery-based Colonial — founded in 1981 by embattled Auburn University trustee Bobby Lowder — has been struggling for months, and a federal judge froze the bank’s assets on Thursday. The bank has a branch in Brewton.
That action came on the heels of the launch of a fraud probe at a Colonial mortgage operation in Florida.
The state Banking Department said depositors at Colonial Bank would have access to their accounts at the bank’s former main office and all branch locations and at ATMs. Customers can continue to use their existing branches until BB&T can fully integrate Colonial’s deposit records. Loan customers should also continue to make their payments as usual, officials said.
With $25 million in assets, Colonial Bank is the largest bank to fail this year — out of 74 — and the sixth largest U.S. bank ever to fail.
BB&T has more than $150 billion in assets and has a history dating to 1872.
Banking Department Superintendent John D. Harrison said deposits at all Alabama banks are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000.
The FDIC has a toll-free number and Web site to answer questions about Colonial Bank. The Web site is and the phone number is 1-800-405-8739.

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