Community & Southern buys local bank

For the second time in a month, a metro Atlanta banking company is buying a healthy local bank.

Community & Southern Holdings will pay $11.80 a share for Verity Capital Group and its two bank branches, in Winder and Cornelia. Community & Southern Bank has 34 local branches.

At the end of June, Verity Bank had about $170 million in total assets, $114 million in loans and $144 million of deposits. It opened its first branch in 2008.

In a statement, Verity president Steven F. Smith said the merger enhances opportunities for customers.

“This partnership with Community & Southern will enhance our ability to fortify what Verity has been committed to building in Winder and Cornelia,” he said.

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The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, and is subject to regulatory approval.

Community & Southern Bank was founded in 2010 and has more than $2.6 billion in assets.

At the end of August, Hamilton State Bank announced its plans to expand in north Georgia by buying Cherokee Bank for about $10 million. It was the first time in recent years a Georgia-based bank bought a healthy bank, and not one that had been taken over by federal regulators.

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