As a long term STI employee (33 years), now retiree and stockholder, I have come to the conclusion that the only hope for STI stakeholders of all stripes (stockholders, bondholders, employees, retirees, the communities where they serve) is for the bank to be taken over by another better run institution that could use the merger as a way to clean out overpaid, underqualified staff, particularly in the mortgage division. My vote would be for US Bankcorp, in that I think mid west values are much more in sync with Southern communities than a New York Bank would be. I have never been impressed with Bil Rogers, esp when he was over the Trust and CIB areas, which had always been, at least before he got them, a jewel in the communities where STI served. Not anymore, in part because he spend his time as an executive VP campaigning for the next job And his only solution to STIs issues is to cut staff ouot in the markets - where the clients notice it most. Sadly the STI board and Phil Human gave Jim Wells too much rope and he not only hung himself he wiped out equity for hundreds, if not thousands of stakeholders. He gave the mortgage division free rein and Commercial Real Estate development almost the same. The only merger he did brought on a bank (GB & T) where almost all the loan portfolio was non perfornming from day one. At the time his justification was STI could not build out in Brick and mortar and get the market share. I: bet if it was calculated now, teh GB & T market share is the most expensive ever in STI history. It occurs to me that the STI board owes the individuals that they dismissed or demoted in the early 2000's (Sandra Jansky sp? et al)due to errors in loan loss reserve calculations an apology. Shareholders did not lose a cent due to their errors. But the mortgage company managers have cost the stockholders millions in loan losses, and in civil penalties and no one has lost his job, in spite of the fact that if they answered the internal control questionares truthfully most of the losses would have been avoided (unless the internal control questionaries were poorly constructed, which is another whole level of management incompentants) Stated another way i think the culture in Richmond promoted lying about actual underwriting and documentation to increase volume. No other are of STi laoned money with as little documentation. Must of been nice to be a friend of Jim Wells.
The "Good Old Southern Boy Club" in Atlanta needs to go. Only a takeover can save this bank. Maybe reality will sink in and open their narrow minds. For the sake of the bank and shareholders, let's hope this happens sooner than later.