Georgia banks appear to have “stabilized” after the recent economic downtown, a representative of the Georgia Bankers Association told Perimeter business leaders on Friday, May 10.

“In 2012, more of our state banks were profitable,” Bankers Association Vice President David Oliver said. “It’s very encouraging.”

Oliver told about 50 members of the the Perimeter Business Association, who met at The Retreat at Perimeter Summit, that 74 percent of Georgia’s state-based banks reported profits in 2012, compared with 60 percent the previous year.

Georgia banks were hit hard during the recession and scores of banks closed. But Oliver said that only two banks had closed so far this year, compared with 10 last year. He said the percentage of loans to banks that were reported as past due has declined for 11 consecutive quarters.

Oliver spoke as a member of a panel discussing banking, finance and investment in the Perimeter area, which includes portions of Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Brookhaven. Other panelists were Christina Parks, vice president of private banking for Morgan Stanley Private Bank and John A. Heagy, senior managing director for Hines, a development, investment and property management firm.

“The Central Perimeter submarket has come into its own in the last 12 to 18 months,” Heagy said.

He said 125,000 people now work in the Perimeter area.  “That’s just a staggering number,” he said.  He said companies such as AirWatch, a technology firm, and State Farm are expanding operations in the area.

“Ten or 12 years ago, this was not the profile of this submarket,” he said. “It had a much lower profile.”

Left to right: Georgia Bankers Association vice president, Christine Parks, vice president of Morgan Stanley Private Bank, and John Heagy, senior managing director of Hines, a development company, address the Perimeter Business Association on May 10.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.