Venture Bank closed; new owner First Citizens Bank re-opens branches

The Washington Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) announced Friday it has closed Venture Bank, citing inadequate capital and severe loan...

The Washington Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) announced Friday it has closed Venture Bank, citing inadequate capital and severe loan losses. Immediately following the closure, DFI named the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver of Venture Bank.

The FDIC immediately entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company of Raleigh, N.C. First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company will assume all deposits and assets of Venture Bank, except brokered deposits, which will be paid out by the FDIC.

“Venture’s capital has been depleted by large loan and investment losses,” Brad Williamson, Director of DFI’s Division of Banks explained. “Like many banks across the country, Venture’s real estate construction and development portfolio has suffered as real estate values have fallen.

“However, Venture’s demise was hastened by very large losses associated with FNMA/Freddie Mac preferred stock and Collateralized Debt Obligations,” Williamson continued. “The combination of loan and investment losses created capital problems that couldn’t be overcome without an immediate capital infusion, which hasn’t been forthcoming.”

“While we are disappointed in Venture Bank’s inability to continue safe and sound financial operations,” DFI Director Scott Jarvis said, “we are pleased to see the negotiation of a whole bank purchase, insuring the deposits and loans of individuals, businesses and public entities throughout Washington. The only change customers should see is a new name and logo, services will continue as before.”

Venture Bank, headquartered in Lacey, Wash., with administrative offices in DuPont, Wash., has branches located throughout the Puget Sound region, from Thurston, Lewis and Pierce counties up into King County. All will be assumed by First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company. The corporate office and all of Venture’s 18 branches opened today as branches of First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company.

As of June 30, 2009, Venture Bank had total assets of $991.4 million and total deposits of $902.7 million.

Venture Bank customers seeking more information about the closure should visit http://www.dfi.wa.gov/banks/venture.htm or http://www.fdic.gov or http://www.firstcitizens.com or you may call First-Citizens toll-free at 1-800-586-2351 between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Pacific time.

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