PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. - W. Ronald Duffey never would have landed the business of a Methodist church being built here if a community bank down the road in LaGrange hadn't referred the minister to him.

Why would the LaGrange banker pass along such a highly desirable customer to a competing bank only 40 miles away? Because the two banks are both affiliates of $6.1 billion-asset Synovus Financial Corp. in Columbus.

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