Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bank Shut Down.

Is Your Bank In Danger of Failing?

FIFTY SEVEN. 57 banks have failed already in 2009. That's double the number that failed in all of 2008! No matter what anyone tries to tell you, we still have a scary and serious banking problem on our hands.

The worst may be yet to come. The FDIC maintains a list of "problem banks." That list skyrocketed to 305 banks! Wondering if your bank is on the list? Of course you are. Too bad the FDIC keeps the list a secret!

But, all is not lost. We're going to show you a few simple steps you can take now to ensure the money you have in the bank is safe.

The two most prominent banks in the Inland Valley, were shut down
Temecula Valley Banks demise noted locally and nationally

Tim O’Leary and Margaret Singleton
Valley News Staff

Friday, July 24th, 2009.
Issue 30, Volume 9.

Temecula Valley Bank – which charted a meteoric rise into the regional business stratosphere – crashed back to Earth last week when it was shut down by federal regulators and absorbed by a North Carolina-based bank.

The takeover, one of four that triggered nationwide media coverage, marked a final chapter for a homegrown bank that attracted enthusiastic investors, directors and depositors when it opened in fast-growing Temecula.

The bank’s demise also drew widespread scrutiny and reflection among the local banking and business community.

“It’s a sad day for the shareholders, employees and the communities that TVB served,” Gary Votapka, president of Mission Oaks Bank, said in an e-mail statement sent to a reporter Monday afternoon. “It’s not good for banking either, but such are the times…”

After starting out small and building on its local roots, Temecula Valley Bank quickly grew to 11 branches throughout Riverside, San Diego and San Bernardino counties. Local branches operated in Temecula, Murrieta and Fallbrook. Others had been established in recent years as far away as Ontario, El Cajon, Corona and Carlsbad.

Temecula Valley Bank’s fall was not the first to rock the local business scene. Early this year, First Centennial Bank of Redlands, which had a branch in Temecula, was seized and is now a unit of First California Bank, which is based in Westlake Village.

The collapse of the two banks – which both flanked Jefferson Avenue on Temecula’s west side – brought the number of bank closings in California this year to eight, according to the Associated Press.

That AP story – which focused on last week’s closure of Temecula Valley Bank and three others across the country – said the 57 bank failures nationwide this year compare with 25 last year and three in 2007.

For years, Temecula Valley Bank highlighted its community roots and financial backing. In fact, Temecula Valley Bancorp’s 2007 annual report boasted “Strength + Flexibility = Success.”

Many of its board of directors at that time were original founders and investors back in 1996. That annual report listed more than 100 founders and investors, most from the Temecula and Fallbrook areas. The list included the names of many high-profile local business and government leaders.

Stephen H. Wacknitz – who served as the bank’s president, chief executive and chairman of the board – was one of its organizers. He was the focus of newspaper headlines late last year when the bank announced his abrupt retirement.

Frank Basirico replaced Wacknitz as the bank’s chief executive. At that time, he told a reporter that the bank was “retrenching to the communities where we have those roots.” That change in direction resulted in the closure of the bank’s out-of-state Small Business Administration loan offices, a move that triggered the elimination of 36 staff positions.

Much of the bank’s demise was blamed on heavy losses from its portfolio of real estate development loans. In June, bank officials announced a tentative deal to inject up to $210 million in the troubled institution. But that effort fell through about a month later, as the Manhattan Beach-based investor group withdrew that anticipated fund infusion.

Temecula Valley reopened Monday as branches of First-Citizens Bank and Trust Co., according to David Barr of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Temecula Valley Bank depositors automatically became depositors of the new owners and continued to be insured by the FDIC. On Wednesday, branch representatives were answering phones using a combination of the banks’ names.

First-Citizens Bank and Trust Co. – which is based in Raleigh, N.C. -- agreed to purchase essentially all of Temecula Valley Bank’s assets and all deposits, except for about $304 million in brokered deposits. Temecula Valley Bank had $1.5 billion of total assets and approximately$1.3 billion of total deposits as of May 31, Barr said. He estimated that Temecula Valley Bank’s failure will cost the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund $391 million.

FDIC's Deposit Insurance FUND?

Tea Party time...

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