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Bank adds first branch in Columbia County

Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009

Though the future Food Lion shopping center at Evans to Locks and Furys Ferry roads is still under construction, Columbia County residents driving through the area will notice a new bank.

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F&M Bank has added its first Columbia County branch in Martinez. The bank also has locations in the Georgia towns of Washington, Lincolnton and Tignall.

"It's all about banking the community, banking your neighbors," said F&M Bank Senior Vice President Lee Clark. "That's the whole philosophy. That it's all about you banking people and not just an account number."

F&M Bank was founded in 1950 in Washington, Ga., as Farmers and Merchants Bank.

Inside the bank are six offices, a fireplace and artwork created by area artists. Six employees staff the bank.

"We'd love to have you come in and have a cup of coffee, be a part of it," Clark said.

The bank, which opened on Aug. 10, will celebrate its grand opening Tuesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce.

Several drawings and prizes will be offered from about 10 a.m. until noon. Also, a representative from an area charity, and one guest, can try to gather money in an air-powered Money Vault.

When deciding upon the Augusta area, Clark said several studies were done by the bank's board of directors to determine where the next branch should be located.

"We are sitting in an area where we have more rooftops around us than we have actual businesses," he said. "That fits what we're after."

F&M Bank is a consumer-retail bank that specializes in serving small businesses and small commercial lending, Clark said.

Free online banking is available, and the bank's Web site can be accessed at www.fmbanknow.com. Because there is only one F&M Bank in Columbia County, customers can use other banks' automated teller machines at no charge, Clark said. CutlinePhoto by Jim Blaylock



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