Columbia River Bank folds

SALEM, ORE. - State regulators last week closed Columbia River Bank, which had a branch in Sunnyside.

The bank was acquired this past Friday evening by Tacoma-based Columbia State Bank, which re-opened bank branches - including the one in Sunnyside - this morning, Monday.

All deposit accounts of Columbia River Bank, headquartered in The Dalles, Ore., are transferred to Columbia State Bank and available immediately.

Columbia River Bank was shuttered because it experienced critically low levels of capital and became insolvent, Oregon state officials say.

The bank's problems resulted primarily from non-performing residential construction loans.

Columbia State Bank acquired the bank's assets from the FDIC.

State action to close Columbia River Bank came almost a year after the FDIC issued an order that limited the bank's lines of credit and other emergency steps.

The action that time also stemmed from troubles with residential loans.

JoAnne Coy is Columbia State Bank's vice president of corporate communications, and she said her bank has $3 billion in assets.

"We are very well capitalized," she said.

Columbia State Bank had 52 branches prior to taking over Columbia River Bank's 21 branches.

Coy said the plan is to keep all of the branches open.

"Except for Vancouver there are no overlapping branches between the banks," she said.

The jury is still out for Columbia River Bank's 300 employees at the branch and administrative levels.

"We don't have all the answers yet," Coy said. "We will let them know as soon as possible, within 30 days."

Coy said Columbia State Bank plans to be active in its new communities, including Sunnyside.

"Columbia State Bank has a reputation for supporting its communities," she said. "We will continue to support our commitments to our new markets.


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