Synovus Looks at Government Offer to Buy Shares

   While the nation’s nine largest banks have signed an agreement to sell shares in their banks to the government, smaller banks will also be a part of the action. Richard Anthony, Chairman and CEO of Synovus told me today that his company is “looking at” the offer.

Richard Anthony, Chairman and CEO, Synovus

Richard Anthony, Chairman and CEO, Synovus

  “Do you need it?” I asked,.

  “Well, not right now, but, looking to the future, we can never not be interested in capital sources.”

   He likes the idea of the government buying equity as opposed to pouring tax dollars into toxic mortgage securities, which is what it appeared would happen when Congress first agreed to the $700 billion banking bailout. 

  “So the government is going to have some ownership in banks,” I said.

  “Well, yes, but it will not be voting stock. It will be preferred stock.”

Stephen A. Melton, CB&T President and CEO

Stephen A. Melton, CB&T President and CEO

   And how has this financial crisis affected business at Synovus’ Columbus Bank and Trust Company? President and CEO Stephen Melton says business is slower, but it’s not because CB&T has changed or tightened its loan policy. That hasn’t changed, he said. “We are making fewer loans simply because demand is lower.”   

  Anthony said that the biggest problem is in the housing industry. He said that once that gets back up and running again things will get better. He was inducted into the Rotary Club of Columbus as a new member today.

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