The personal impact of the Great Recession on lawmakers who serve in the state Capitol is no secret.
And now another can be added to the hard-times list.
According to his 2008 financial disclosure form, state Rep. Jay Shaw (D-Lakeland) has a major stake in Farmers & Merchants Bank in Lakeland, one of four Georgia community banks hit with those dreaded “cease and desist” orders” requiring them to raise capital.
My AJC colleague Paul Donsky said FMB claims assets of $633 million as of the first quarter, making it one of the state’s larger community institutions.
The depressed real estate market, particularly around metro Atlanta, is largely to blame for the state’s banking woes.
Consider Farmers & Merchants Bank, based in the south Georgia town of Lakeland. Only one of the bank’s seven branches is located in metro Atlanta — in Covington, on Atlanta’s eastern fringe — but that’s the one causing most of the bank’s problems, said Jeff Parrish, Farmers & Merchants’ CEO.
“We’re like everybody else — the [real estate] construction and development business has affected us,” Parrish said.
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