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To the FDIC, Small Is Beautiful

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Heidi Moore examines the new phenomenon of small banks being rescued by small banks. "Stearns' enthusiastic acquisitions of failed community banks is no anomaly. As the continuing real-estate crisis pushes more tiny banks into failure, the most common saviors have been other small banks: community banks, small thrifts, and modestly sized lenders. These burgeoning banks include Ohio's First Financial Bancorp, North Carolina's First Citizens BancShares, and Georgia's State Bank and Trust Company, which all bought three banks each from the FDIC. Cognizant of their size, some openly play up their scrappiness: Umpqua Holdings Corp. (UMPQ), which bought three failed banks from the FDIC, has a Web site and voice-mail messages that tout it perkily, if immodestly: "Welcome to Umpqua, the greatest bank ever.”"
SOURCE:   The Big Money