Small Georgia Banks Turn To New Areas In Pursuit Of Growth

ATLANTA (AP/WAOK) – Still dealing with weak loan demand and a rough economic recovery, some Georgia community banks that weathered the crisis are getting bolder in their search for new business.

Officials say some banks are turning to lines of business offered more often by their big bank competitors such as wealth management, corporate banking or mortgage lending. A few are even opening or considering new branches, bucking the industry trend.

The moves are byproducts of a tough economy and a need to diversify revenue streams following the turmoil in residential and commercial real estate development lending. Development loans were a key cog in the business plans of many community banks before the crisis.

But slow economic growth has made replacing expiring loans with new ones more difficult.

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