Alamerica Bank

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Alamerica Bank is based in Birmingham, with headquarters and one branch in the Alamerica Bank Building at 2170 Highland Avenue in Southside Birmingham.

Alamerica officially opened its doors for business on January 28, 2000, and achieved operational profitability within six months of operation. When opened, the President and CEO was Lawrence Tate. Donald Watkins, one of the bank's founding investors, sat on the bank's board of directors.

By 2007 it was considered to be a well-capitalized bank with assets totaling $72 million. As much as $40 million of the bank's total deposits were owned by the City of Birmingham and were deposited at the direction of then-Mayor Bernard Kincaid. Alamerica held approximately 10% of the city's deposits, and provided a higher rate of return than any other local bank. However, since the deposits were awarded without taking bids and because Watkins' Voter News Network and other political action committees were Kincaid's primary campaign fundraisers in the 2003 and 2007 mayoral elections, there was, according to banking expert Tony Plath, a conflict of interest.

In 2018 Alamerica Bank filed a lawsuit claiming that two former executives, Robert Rockett and Thomas Healan, worked on the launch of a new competitor, Millennial Bank, while still employed at Alamerica, and that their actions imperiled a proposed sale of the bank to Tamer El-Rayess of New York.

In November of that year, Watkins and his oldest son, Donald Jr, were indicted on federal charges of wire fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy relating to allegations raised by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in a civil action the previous December. They were also charged with recruiting Richard Arrington to take out loans for them from Alamerica Bank. Both defendants chose to represent themselves in Judge Karon Bowdre's court. On March 8, 2019 Watkins Sr was convicted on all counts, and his son on one count each of bank fraud and conspiracy. Watkins Sr was sentenced to 60 months in prison and another 5 years of probation, and to pay $14,000,100 in restitution.

As of 2021, the board of directors consists of chairperson Jacqueline Anderson Smith and interim president and CEO Matthew Morris.

In 2022 Alamerica Bank was acquired by the Carver Financial Corp. of Savannah, Georgia. Under new ownership the bank sought to focus on filling the business loan gap between Community Development Financial Institutions and large commercial lenders. In March 2023 Alamerica Bank reported $16.4 million in total assets, including $12.3 million in deposits

Chief executives


  • Diel, Stan (September 9, 2007) "City is Alamerica's top patron." The Birmingham News
  • Coker, Angel (August 14, 2018) "Alamerica files suit against two former execs now at Millennial Bank." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Hrynkiw, Ivana (November 29, 2018) "Donald Watkins and son indicted on federal fraud charges." The Birmingham News
  • Gore, Leada (November 29, 2018) "Who is Donald Watkins? Indicted attorney involved in Richard Scrushy case, Auburn NCAA violations." The Birmingham News
  • Whitmire, Kyle (November 30, 2018) "Donald Watkins: Ineffable, incorrigible and indicted." The Birmingham News
  • Hrynkiw, Ivana (January 4, 2019) "Donald Watkins ditches lawyer, will represent himself." The Birmingham News
  • Whitmire, Kyle (March 16, 2019) "An Alabama fraud story: The many faces of Donald Watkins." The Birmingham News
  • Thornton, William (August 25, 2021) "Donald Watkins ordered to pay $1.5 million in defamation suit damages for Megan Rondini posts." The Birmingham News
  • O'Leary, A. J. (June 8, 2023) "Bham banking exec named CEO of Alamerica Bank." Birmingham Business Journal

External Links