Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

News Release

Friday, June 11, 2010


Lyn Peters, Director of Communications
PH (360) 902-8731 lyn.peters@dfi.wa.gov

Brad Williamson, DFI Director, DFI Division of Banks
PH (360) 902-8704 banks@dfi.wa.gov


East West Bank Of Pasadena, Calif. Purchases Washington First International Bank After Closure By Washington DFI

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) closed Washington First International Bank today, citing inadequate capital and severe loan losses. Immediately following the closure, DFI named the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver of Washington First International Bank.

The FDIC immediately entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with East West Bank headquartered in Pasadena, Calif. East West Bank will assume all deposits and certain assets of Washington First International Bank, except certain brokered deposits, which will be paid out by the FDIC.

“Washington First International Bank’s capital has been depleted by large loan losses associated with land development and construction lending,” Brad Williamson, Director of DFI’s Division of Banks explained. “The bank’s management unsuccessfully attempted to raise capital and recent loan losses depleted the bank’s capital, bringing about today’s closure.”

“The failure of Washington First International Bank is an unfortunate example of the severe consequences these exceptionally challenging economic times bring for our financial institutions that have been heavily committed to commercial real estate land acquisition and construction lending,” DFI Director Scott Jarvis said.

Washington First International Bank, headquartered in Seattle, has four branches located in King County. All will be assumed by East West Bank. The International District Branch will reopen Saturday and all other locations will open Monday as East West Bank branches.

Throughout the weekend and transition, Washington First International Bank customers can access their funds by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards. Checks will continue to be processed. Loan customers should continue to make their payments as usual. Online services also will remain available.

As of March 31, 2010, Washington First International Bank had total assets of $520,887,000 and total deposits of $441,362,000.

Washington First International Bank customers seeking more information about the closure should visit www.dfi.wa.gov/banks/wafirst.htm or www.fdic.gov or www.wfib.com.

For more information about deposit insurance for Washington banks and credit unions, visit www.dfi.wa.gov/consumers/deposits.htm. For details about FDIC coverage and requirements, visit www.fdic.gov or call toll-free 1.877.ASK.FDIC.

DFI also offers answers to frequently asked questions for bank business loan customers in turbulent times at www.dfi.wa.gov/banks/business-loan-faqs.htm.

About Division of Banks
www.dfi.wa.gov/banks ▪ 360.902.8704 ▪ 877.RINGDFI (746.4334) x 28704
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions Division of Banks regulates 85 Washington State-chartered commercial banks, stock savings banks, mutual savings banks, foreign banks, savings and loan associations and independent trust companies. We charter new banks, business development corporations, trust companies, foreign banks and savings and loan associations. Also, we authorize new branches and branch closures; and approve mergers and acquisitions.

About DFI
www.dfi.wa.gov ▪ 360.902-8700 ▪ 877.746-4334
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions regulates a variety of financial service providers such as banks, credit unions, mortgage brokers, consumer loan companies, payday lenders and securities brokers and dealers. The department also works to improve financial education throughout Washington through its outreach programs and online clearinghouse www.dfi.wa.gov/financial-education. In addition to posting information about licensees and administrative actions, DFI uses the Web and social media to provide financial education information: www.twitter.com/FinEd4All, www.twitter.com/DFIConsumers, www.finlit.blogspot.com, www.youtube.com/user/WADFI, www.homeownership.wa.gov.