MACON, Ga. – MidSouth Community FCU is the latest credit union to take advantage of a growing inventory of bank branches on the market by agreeing to acquire two branches of failed Security Bank from the FDIC.

"There's properties available," said Claude Garrett, president of the $143 million credit union in Georgia, which leads the nation with 38 bank failures since 2008.

MidSouth has branches in three of the 13 counties it serves and is looking to add branches in other locations, Garrett told Credit Union Journal yesterday. "We're interested in more properties," he said.

Garrett declined to disclose the prices for the two branches because of a confidentiality agreement he signed with the FDIC, but industry sources said the regulators are selling assets at steep discounts. "I understand that they're fairly good deals," said one expert on bank branches.

The two branches acquired from the FDIC are in Warner Robins, near a military base, and in Watson. Building redesign and remodeling at the two locations will begin May 1, with plans to open the Watson Boulevard branch by mid-June, and the Russell Parkway branch by mid-August.

MidSouth joins a growing list of credit unions buying troubled bank branches. In recent months nearby Robins FCU bought a branch from Piedmont Community Bank; University of Wisconsin CU acquired a branch from Amcore Bank; Dupaco Community CU acquired a branch from East Dubuque Savings Bank and Royal CU in Eau Claire, Wis. agreed to buy 11 branches from troubled Anchor Bank.

The MidSouth branches were acquired through a local real estate broker working on behalf of the FDIC. The process took almost 10 months to complete, according to Garrett.

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