Synovus Financial Corp. of Columbus, Ga., is continuing to consolidate its banks in Georgia.

The $34 billion-asset company said it will merge Sumter Bank and Trust in Americus into its Security Bank and Trust in Albany to create a bank to be called SB&T Bank with seven branches and assets of $649 billion. It said the consolidation should occur near the end of the first quarter.

Mark L. Lane, Security Bank's president and chief executive, will have the same titles at SB&T. Randolph Jones, the president and CEO at Sumter Bank, will become a market president for the Americus market.

Synovus, which last week sold $967.9 million in preferred stock through the Treasury Department's Capital Purchase Program, has been actively merging banks in Georgia. In September 2007 it folded two Atlanta-area banks into Bank of North Georgia in Alpharetta.

A spokesman said Synovus would have 30 banks when the latest consolidation is complete. The company has said in the past that it could eventually shrink down to 20 to 25 banks.

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