CB & T Consolidates

COLUMBUS, Ga-(WXTX)-Four different Synovus owned banks will soon become one.

CB&T of East Alabama, CB&T of Middle Georgia, CB&T-Commercial Bank and Trust, based in LaGrange and CB&T in Columbus are consolidating.

The combined bank will be called CB&T, (formally CB&T, N.A.) and will be lead by current Columbus Bank and Trust President and CEO Steve Melton.

Melton says the move should be seamless for customers.

"It'll be the same familiar faces, you won't have to order new checks or change your credit cards," says Melton.

In fact, officials say this change should make banking easier and more accessible for customers.

The new CB&T will have 35 banks in 11 communities across Georgia and Alabama and a combined workforce of about 865 employees.

Plus, total assets of $7.5 billion.  A figure Melton says makes it a fierce competitor in today's tough market.

"We will be very strongly capitalized at a very high level, so with that combined with the FDIC insurance, you should not have any concerns whatsoever about doing business with our company or putting your money in our company," Melton says.

As far as company employees, Melton says they're not currently planning any cuts.

"We don't expect any head count reduction because of the merger, but if it makes good business sense that we have a job that we don't need or that when someone leaves we don't have to do that replacement, we would do that," adds Melton.

He says that's simply a reality of the turbulent times.   While officials say the consolidation itself is not a result of the rough economy, timing was right considering potential growth in the area.

"With BRAC and other economic opportunities that we have coming to our community, being  part of a bigger bank will give us an opportunity to serve our customers in a way that we haven't been able to do," says CB&T of East Alabama President and CEO Ron Smith.

Officials say the transition should be complete by early June, pending regulatory approval.