Sunday, August 31, 2008

I Guess God Did Not Like Their Bank So Much Afterall

The Alpharetta-based bank, which opened its doors in 2000 with a Christian-centered philosophy, is the 10th U.S. bank to fail this year and the second Georgia institution to fail in the past 12 months.

Integrity’s employees regularly prayed before meetings or in branch lobbies with customers, while the bank gave 10 percent of its net income to charities.

“We felt if we prayed and obeyed God’s word and did what He asked, that He would help us be successful,” the bank’s founder, Steve Skow, told the Journal-Constitution in 2005.

Centered around a Christian faith-based business model, Integrity Bank was a high-flying star of metro Atlanta's housing boom, but industry experts said Integrity quickly became the poster-child for lending and compensation excesses.

CEO Steve Skow earned $1.8 million that year, while senior lender and executive vice president Doug Ballard earned $847,222. A typical community bank CEO, banking consultants said, earn roughly $300,000 per year.

It's all God's Will:

"It's not me--it's the people and God's will that have made this thing successful."


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