SOURCE: Western Commercial Bank

Western Commercial Bank

October 22, 2009 20:48 ET

Western Commercial Bank Enters Into Consent Order With FDIC and DFI

WOODLAND HILLS, CA--(Marketwire - October 22, 2009) - WCB Holdings, Inc. (OTCBB: WCBH), located at 21550 Oxnard Street, Suite 100, Woodland Hills, California, announced that Western Commercial Bank, its wholly owned subsidiary, has entered into a Consent Order to Cease and Desist with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the California Department of Financial Institutions effective September 18, 2009. The Order, which provides the Bank with a roadmap to address the impact of the challenges presented by these economic times, includes many plans and actions that the Bank has already adopted and begun to implement.

The Order also requires the Bank to:

1. Increase the capital by no less than $1 million and achieve a 9.5% Tier 1 Capital ratio within 90 days.

2. Reduce its dependence on non-core deposits (wholesale and broker deposits -- broker deposits in today's market could be low-cost certificate of deposits arranged by a third party with terms for six months up to several years) based on a plan to be filed with and deemed acceptable to the regulators.

3. Reduce its classified assets as identified in the most recent Report of Examination to no more than 50% of the Tier 1 Capital plus the Allowance for Loan and Lease Losses within 120 days.

4. Implement plans to diversify the Bank's loan portfolio, reduce the commercial real estate loan concentration, manage and mitigate the Bank's liquidity risk and diversify its funding sources within 60 days.

5. Develop a 3-year Strategic Plan and budget, including goals and strategies to improve the Bank's net interest margin, increase interest income and improve and sustain earnings, within 60 days.

Before the Order was signed, Management and the Board had already been working on a number of programs with much success already achieved.

Members of the WCB Board of Directors/Founders have recently provided over $900,000 in new capital through their investment in WCB's preferred stock. Management and the Board feel confident that WCB will raise additional capital to more than satisfy the Order.

The Order and FDIC rules prevent the Bank from accepting or renewing brokered deposits without first obtaining a waiver from the FDIC. The Bank has applied to the FDIC for a waiver to continue to accept certain types of brokered deposits. Still, the Board and Management have already implemented a program to reduce the Bank's dependence on brokered and wholesale deposits and have reduced the level of brokered deposits by 50% since February of this year. Further, Management has already hired a senior business development officer or begun deposit growth programs both of which are showing results.

The Board and Management also feel that the Bank will reduce classified assets as required by the Order. Many of those assets are already in a workout program with a high expectation of success.

The Board and Management feel very strongly that the Bank's past performance and future viability have been indications of strength and growth in a difficult economic time. We are disappointed that the Bank received the Order. However, the Board and Management want to assure all of the Bank's shareholders and clients that compliance with the Order will be fully achieved and in the near-term future.

Carl W. Raggio, III, President and CEO, said: "The entire banking industry is suffering from the major financial debacle that occurred a year ago and the ensuing economic downturn. While we have seen erosion in our loan portfolio due to the economy, we feel very strongly that we have appropriate levels of collateral and cash flow to support those problematic credits along with the appropriate reserve levels as cushions for potential, but unforeseen losses. We encourage our clients and shareholders to visit our Bank and meet with Management to discuss our aggressive action plans for building a better bank in these difficult times. As part of our commitment to the success of the Bank, members of the WCB Board and Founders have injected an additional $900,000 in capital, and we plan on raising additional capital to far exceed the minimum regulatory requirements. We should remind our shareholders that we exceed the minimum capital requirements without the Order and will continue to exceed the revised limits as a result of this Order. Management and the Board began these programs well before the regulators determined the need for the issuance of the Order. Further, we will continue to provide deposit and loan products for our clients with the same high standard of service they have grown accustomed to. The Order does not change anything in terms of how we will continue to do business with our local market clients."

Mr. Raggio also added: "The Board and I share the same feelings in regard to our current financial position. We are a strong Management team with the experience to deal with the current economic conditions. If not already, we will fully comply with the Order and once it is removed, continue to build our Bank successfully."

Forward-looking statements, by their nature, are subject to risks and uncertainties. The statements contained in this release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements based on management's current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects on the Company. Readers are cautioned not to unduly rely on forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ from those projected. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they were made. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly revise these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances that may occur after the date that forward-looking statements are made.

The Bank offers a comprehensive selection of business deposit and loan products, cash management services as well as SBA-guaranteed loans. The Bank is not involved in any of the sub-prime products.

The Bank provides financial services to small and mid-sized businesses, entrepreneurs and professionals in the San Fernando Valley and Ventura County.

Regular office hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Information on the Bank's services is available by calling (818) 449-7700 and online at www.westerncommercialbank.com. Information on the Bank's stock may be obtained from Carl W. Raggio, III, President and Chief Executive Officer, at (818) 449-7700. The stock trades on the OTC Bulletin Board.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Carl Raggio
    President & Chief Executive Officer
    (818) 449-7711