Bank Failure Friday - Failures for 2010 Exceed 2009's Bank Closings

It's back....just when you thought bank failures had dissipated, oh not so. Another Friday, another round. Instead of happy hour, we have bank failures. These week is a foursome, listed below, with their costs to the FDIC deposit insurance fund:

  1. K Bank, Randallstown, Maryland, $198.4 million
  2. Western Commercial Bank, Woodland Hills, California, $25.2 million
  3. Pierce Commercial Bank, Tacoma, Washington , $21.3 million
  4. First Vietnamese American Bank, Westminster, California, $9.6 million/li>

For just this year, that's #11 for Washington and #12 in California. This week's Bank Failure Friday hits a milestone. Bank Closings for 2010 have exceeding the 140 Bank failures of 2009.

Additionally, the list of "Problem" banks increased to 829.

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Built to Fail....

Western Commercial Bank a Findley project was doomed from the beginning because the founder had not been an experienced banker. He was a mortgage processor who somehow got approved and then jumped in the Southern California mortgage whirlwind. Never having heard of or grasp the concept of "over concentration" in any one product group. This is reminiscent to the days of the S&L crisis when developers realized the Holly Grail was to own one then run all your projects through them, aka give the pimp the key to the barracks. Then we have First Vietnamese American Bank which began with a lot of hoopla about having raised some $30 million in capital all in $500 dollar increments in brown paper bags. (first sign of concern a cash based ethnic group they come from a place that you don't trust governments or banks) While the concept was sound to provide a Bank for those who lived in Little Saigon of Southern Cal, it was launched with inadequate management and tight enough policy to assure safety and soundness. This bank operated under a regulatory order for most of its short life. Surprisingly the Bank had as a Board member David Scott who was the most senior member of the Ca DFI when he retired after a long career of raking havoc on Banks Bankers and Boards of Directors for almost any concern legitimate or not that he and his side kick back then Sharon Dunlavey could deliver he joined FAVB. If he was that good how did this bank open with and keep an order for the length of its existence. Add to this a second Bank in Little Saigon opening at the same time with an identical business plan. Neither Bank has done well. (this was an Ed Carpenter fiasco) In the end the Vietnamese Business Community losses as does the Banking community of California because greed and short lived fame blinded all. bankalchemist.