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FIRST NATIONAL BANCORP RANKS AMONG THE TOP IN THE NATION

 FIRST NATIONAL BANCORP RANKS AMONG THE TOP IN THE NATION
 GAINESVILLE, Ga., April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Gainesville-based First National Bancorp (NASDAQ: FBAC) has been ranked as one of the most profitable banking companies in America.
 In its April issue, United States Banker ranks First National Bancorp as the nation's 27th most profitable company in a field of 60 banking companies. These 60 banks topped the field from 12,150 banks throughout the United States. The list, which included banks from New York to Hawaii, was topped by Bank of Granite Corporation in Granite Falls, N.C. Three Georgia-based companies were ranked including Atlanta's SunTrust, which came in at No. 47, despite being the second- largest company on the list.
 "This is, indeed, an honor," said Rick McNeece, Bancorp's chairman and chief executive officer. "Our profitability outranked much bigger and better known banking companies. We are extremely pleased with the status which U.S. Banker has awarded us."
 It has been under McNeece's direction that First National Bancorp has seen a 100 percent growth in assets in five years. With his leadership, First National Bancorp has gone from an eight-bank holding company with assets of $934 million to 12 affiliate banks with $1.8 billion in assets. McNeece, who joined the company five years ago as president and chief executive officer of the lead bank, First National Bank of Gainesville, and was named CEO of the Bancorp last year, was recently named chairman on April 15 at the annual stockholders meeting.
 "We are proud of the growth we have experienced over the past few years," McNeece said. "Still, we are not complacent. We have more goals which we have set for ourselves and Bancorp."
 In order to be included in the survey, a banking company had to earn at least 1 percent on assets for each of four straight years (1988-1991) and its equity asset ratio had to be at least 5 percent at the end of 1991. The ranking is based on average adjusted ROAA (Return on Average Assets) for those four years.
 Although First National Bancorp was ranked 27th overall, it ranked higher when grouped with comparable companies. For instance, it ranked second in the Southeastern Region with only banking companies from Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia ascending to the list. When ranked by assets ($1 billion to $5 billion), First National Bancorp was rated 12th out of 20.
 First National Bancorp's affiliate banks are: Bank of Clayton; First National Bank of White County; First National Bank of Habersham; Peoples Bank of Forsyth County; First National Bank of Paulding County; Granite City Bank; First National Bank of Gilmer County; Bank of Banks; Pickens County Bank; First National Bank of Jackson County and The Citizens Bank of Toccoa.
 -0- 4/24/92
 /CONTACT: Ronda Rich, communications officer of First National Bancorp, 404-531-4377/
 (FBAC) CO: First National Bancorp ST: Georgia IN: FIN SU:


BR-BN -- AT003 -- 2399 04/24/92 11:27 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 24, 1992
Words:493
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