WEST FORSYTH – Residents who bank with BestBank, a financial institution most known for its Kroger grocery store locations, were surprised to discover Monday morning that the only branch in Forsyth County had shut down and been taken over without warning.
According to BestBank’s website, the bank, which operated as BestBank in Georgia and Michigan though was officially called Guaranty Bank, was closed Friday, May 5 by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which named the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, receiver.
“To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company, Raleigh, North Carolina, to assume all of the deposits of Guaranty Bank,” the FDIC’s website said. “All depositors of Guaranty Bank, regardless of where they conducted business, will automatically become depositors of First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company.”
Most Forsyth residents were only made aware of the change after attempting to visit the bank’s Forsyth location, which was inside the Kroger on Bethelview Road in west Forsyth.
BestBank’s website said “no advance notice is given to the public when a financial institution is closed.”
While the financial institution had 119 branches in five states, the majority of the branches – 107 – were located in retail outlets, such as grocery stores.
Nearly three dozen, or 34, branches in Georgia were closed and will not reopen, the FDIC said.
“The branches in retail outlets will not be reopening, though 12 brick-and-mortar locations in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin will reopen as branches of First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company during their normal business hours,” a statement said.
Customers can still access their accounts online despite BestBank’s physical closures, though they are now operated by First-Citizens Bank.
Nearby First-Citizens Bank branches are located in Suwanee, Dawsonville and Alpharetta.