Patrick L. Flinn takes a bow for the second year in a row. Last year, it was under the designation "Rising Star." This time, it's for "Top Regional," a signal that Bank South has matured from prodigy to steady performer.

With its bare knuckles advertising and innovative supermarket branches, Bank South also keeps making life uncomfortable for its competitors in Atlanta. First Union Corp. was so rattled by the Bank South challenge this year that its Georgia bank took out full-page newspaper ads complaining about Bank South's advertising, which touted its local ownership.

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