Ameris Bancorp enjoys the financial climate of the Deep South. It is the holding company of Ameris Bank, which serves retail and consumer customers through more than 60 branches in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and northern Florida. The bank provides standard products and services, including checking and savings accounts, money market accounts, CDs, IRAs, and credit cards; it offers investment services through an agreement with Raymond James Financial. Loans secured by commercial real estate and farmland account for approximately half of the company's loan portfolio, while residential mortgages account for about a quarter.
Acquisitions helped boost Ameris' revenues by more than 25% in 2011, from $154.3 million to nearly $194 million. The company also returned to profitability after two consecutive years of losses, posting nearly $18 million in net income. Higher interest margins and lower expenses contributed to its improved results as well.
Georgia's economy was one of the hardest hit in the US during the recession, and Ameris has taken advantage of the plethora of banks seized by regulators in the state. Since 2009, the company has acquired about 10 failed banks in Georgia though FDIC-assisted transactions, adding some 20 branches to its network. Ameris also snagged the failed First Bank of Jacksonville in Florida, which had two locations. – less