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Community & Southern opens Cumming location
New bank sets up on Market Place
CSmith
Smith

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For more information on Community & Southern Bank, visit www.thecsbank.com or contact Rock Hunt at (678) 293-1451.

Forsyth County residents soon will have a new option in banking.

Community & Southern Bank received approval from the FDIC on Monday to open a location at 1700 Market Place Blvd.

"We'll be open and branded by mid-February," said Rock Hunt, market president.

Hunt said the new bank will open with a staff of seven, including Connie Smith, who will serve as banking center manager.

Most of the remaining six positions have been filled, though Hunt said he and Smith are "still looking to fill a couple positions."

"We will be hiring locally," he said.

The two-story, brick site debuted in 2004 as First National Bank of Forsyth County, which was later sold to Buckhead Community Bank and renamed Forsyth Community Bank.

Buckhead Community Bank and its six branches were seized by the FDIC in December 2009 and its assets purchased by State Bank & Trust Company, which closed the Cumming site.

Hunt said Community & Southern should offer stability to the location since the bank has more than 40 locations and offers $300 million in capital.

"We're unrestricted and unimpaired," he said. "There's no restraints on the type of business we can do."

Hunt said the facility will offer "standard banking services" including checking, savings and money market accouts, online and mobile banking, and treasury and cash management services for corporations.

"We can do up to $20 million in a single transaction," Hunt said.

Community & Southern is headquartered in Carrollton, about 40 miles west of Atlanta.

It has acquired several failed banks throughout the state and has locations across north Georgia, including Canton, Dawsonville and Dahlonega.

This will be the bank's 42nd branch and first in Forsyth County.

Hunt brings more than 30 years of banking experience to the local site.

"It's all I know how to do," he said. "I don't think I'd want to do anything else. I've been in this business for 34 years."

Hunt and his family are longtime Forsyth County residents. He said his two oldest children graduated from South Forsyth High School, and his youngest attends West Forsyth High.

His wife, Debbie, began her teaching career in Forsyth in 1977, he said.

Hunt said he's looking forward to working in his home county again, after spending a few years working for Regions Bank in Gainesville as chief executive officer for north Georgia.

"In September, I left [Regions] to come home and recast my opportunity," he said.

He said he plans for his new business venture to be a strong partner with his home county.

"I've already filled out our chamber of commerce membership. We'll be community-oriented and community-focused," he said.