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Recent News on Banks Under Regulatory Scrutiny

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Last Monday the FDIC made public November Enforcement Actions. There were 34 cease-and-desist orders. Two banks on the list that I've reported on include Advanta Bank Corp. in Utah and Equity Bank, SSB of Dallas, Texas. Both offer nationwide CDs.

Dallas Morning News reported on the cease-and-desist order issued to Equity Bank:
the FDIC told Equity Bank to stop operating with too many delinquent loans, not enough capital and insufficient earnings.

This Philly.com article reviews Philadelphia area banks operating under regulatory agreements. It reported 15 out of 101 banks in its area are in this condition. One bank reviewd is ISN Bank which is on my weekly list of best nationwide CD rates. According to the article:
ISN Bank in Cherry Hill, for example, is a small but seriously troubled institution. It has just $75 million in loans, but borrowers were behind on $21 million, or 28 percent, of those loans at the end of September.

Royal Bank America and Royal Asian Bank were mentioned in the article. Both banks are under the bank holding company Royal Bancshares of Pennsylvania Inc. Royal Asian Bank had been offering very competitive CD rates in November. According to the article:
James J. McSwiggan, president and chief operating officer of Royal Bank America, of Narberth, said regulators were concerned that his bank had too many low-quality loans and that its loans were too concentrated in commercial real estate.

There were 140 bank closures in 2009, and we'll likely see many more closures in 2010. According to FDIC's third quarter report, there were 552 insured institutions on its "Problem List" as of September 30th. This official problem list is kept secret by the FDIC. An unofficial problem list is maintained at Calculated Risk Blog and consists of all banks that are operating under some public enforcement action. The latest unofficial problem list has 545 banks. However, it doesn't yet include the FDIC's November Enforcement Actions that were released last Monday.

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Comments
2 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Wow, Advanta...hasn't it been rated fairly safe until now? And what will happen to my CD, at 5.25APY, which doesn't mature until 2013?

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
TO: Anonymous, at 1:43 PM, January 03, 2010

Nothing should occur to your CD unless Advanta is taken over by the FDIC and another institution gets the bank. In that case it's up to the new owners if they want to honor the old rate or not. Also you may then withdraw the funds in the CD if you elect to do so. Just make sure your funds are under insurance limits.

1