Banker Warns of Exuberant Florida Developers

Kessel Stelling, CEO of Synovus Financial, is concerned about lenders taking too much risk on construction loans.

(Bloomberg)—A construction boom in Atlanta, Nashville and Orlando raises concern that some lenders may be taking on too much risk, Synovus Financial Corp.’s top executive said.

“I still have some scars from the last crisis,” Kessel Stelling, chief executive officer since 2010, said in an interview at Bloomberg’s Atlanta office. “We lived to tell about it. I want to be sure we live to tell about it again.”

Columbus, Georgia-based Synovus, which operates in five states, repaid $968 million in funds to the Treasury Department in 2013, becoming one of the last large banks to rid itself of the stigma of the Troubled Asset Relief Program in the wake of the 2007-2009 recession that brought the bank close to collapse.

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