Lots of government people in suits showed up after the Bank of Clark County closed for business this evening. It’s not good.
The Bank of Clark County became the first locally based bank to fail in recent memory, following a ruling by state regulators on Friday that the Vancouver financial institution did not have adequate cash to stay in business. Its two branches will open Tuesday under the control of Umpqua Bank, which has assumed all of its roughly $209 million in insured deposits.
Sounds pretty serious. According to the Columbian, the state closed the bank and FDIC took receivership. The newspaper reports that there is over $39 million in uninsured deposits.
Several top Bank of Clark County executives, including President Mike Worthy, were relieved of their positions on Friday.
The rest of the bank’s 91 employees, based at two branches, will continue to work for Umpqua Bank, which still plans to open a branch next to Esther Short Park this summer.
“Employees heard the news that their bank has inadequate capital and their bank was declared closed, and we walked in the room five minutes later to tell them were taking over,” said Sullivan.
He entered with a phalanx of bankers and regulators in suits and ties that converged on 1400 Washington St. just after the 6 p.m. close of business on Friday.
Bank of Clark County was basically a local bidness guys and gals bank, started by some local movers and shakers in the late 1990’s.
The bank grew quickly as it aggressively courted business borrowers and developers during Clark County’s building boom. But when the housing market soured, so did its finances, as did the finances of most other banks in the region.
Until recently, it was clear that the Bank of Clark County had lost money on construction and development loans, but not how bad things had become.
“The last number of months they saw tremendous decreases in some of the values in their loan portfolio,” said Brad Williamson, director of the state Department of Financial Institutions banking division. “That requires a bank to make tremendous loan loss provisions. If the bank does not have enough in earnings, it comes out of its capital.”
This is quite the blow to certain aspects of the Clark County economy. The credit crunch and housing bubble deflation were already putting a severe strain on developers, and now their main local bank had to be seized by regulators.
It’ll be interesting to see what details emerge.