Monday, January 26, 2015

Highland Community Bank closed and Seaway Bank 2.0 suffers a "glitch"

Highland Community Bank
Today in the news I saw that Highland Community Bank HQ @ 1701 W. 87th St. had been taken over by the FDIC. Over the years Seaway Bank had attempted to buy Highland but to no avail and somehow Highland was able to survive. There are those who follow community lenders who wondered WHEN that small lender would finally fail. 

Today we have our answer.
Regulators have closed a small lender in Chicago, making it the second U.S. bank failure of 2015 following 18 closures last year.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Friday that it has taken over Highland Community Bank, which operated two branches.

The bank had $54.7 million in assets and $53.5 million in deposits as of Dec. 31.

United Fidelity Bank, based in Evansville, Indiana, agreed to assume all of Highland Community Bank's deposits and to buy the failed bank's assets.
So that makes it only three Black-owned banks in Chicago, which includes Seaway Bank, Illinois Service Federal, and New Orleans, Louisiana based Liberty Bank (which operates a branch on Chicago's west side formerly owned by Covenant Bank and Community Bank of Lawndale).

Speaking of Seaway it was recently in the news that they have been hit with a consent order by the FDIC:
Seaway 2.0 has stumbled on a glitch.

Seaway Bank & Trust, Chicago's largest African-American-owned bank, based on the South Side, has been slapped with a consent order by its regulators. The order requires it to hold elevated capital levels, strengthen management, halt dividend payments to investors and beef up controls to detect money-laundering and other criminal activity by customers.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. along with the Illinois Division of Banking issued the order Dec. 16, little more than a month after Seaway had declared itself a successful turnaround following restatement of six quarters worth of earnings that substantially improved the bank's financial condition.

The order, which the bank consented to without admitting or denying charges of unsafe or unsound banking practices, requires Seaway to boost its “Tier 1” capital to 8 percent of its assets within 60 days. Based on Sept. 30 figures, the bank would need to raise nearly $8 million to hit that benchmark.
Seaway is celebrating 50 years in business this year. Hopefully they won't go the way of Highland Bank in the near future.

In the meanwhile as you read in the article for Highland, they will be taken over by Indiana-based United Fidelity Bank. In fact if you clicked on Highland official website it's noted on that with a link to that bank.

Are the loss of Black-owned neighborhood banks a loss for our neighborhoods?

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