Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

News Release

Friday, May 27, 2011


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

Gloria McVey, DFI Acting Director, DFI Division of Banks
PH 360.902-8704, banks@dfi.wa.gov


Columbia Bank, Headquartered In Tacoma, Wash. Purchases First Heritage Bank After Closure By Washington Department Of Financial Institutions

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

The FDIC immediately entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Columbia State Bank headquartered in Tacoma, Wash. Columbia State Bank (doing business as Columbia Bank) will assume all of the deposits and assets of First Heritage Bank.

“First Heritage Bank’s capital has been depleted by large loan losses associated with land development and construction lending,” Gloria McVey, Acting Director of DFI’s Division of Banks explained. “Bank management was unable to raise sufficient capital to remain viable.”

“The closure of a Washington State chartered bank is never a welcome event,” DFI Director Scott Jarvis added. “However, a very positive signal is sent when Columbia, a financially strong state-chartered bank with an excellent reputation, steps up to acquire a failing institution and continues service to the affected communities.”

First Heritage Bank, headquartered in Snohomish, Wash. has five locations which will reopen Tuesday as branches of Columbia Bank.

Throughout the weekend and transition, First Heritage 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, 2011, First Heritage Bank had total assets of $173,478,000 and total deposits of $163,303,000.

First Heritage Bank customers seeking more information about the closure should visit www.dfi.wa.gov/banks/firstheritagebank.htm, www.fdic.gov, or www.columbiabank.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 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. Learn more about the Division of Banks.

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: http://www.twitter.com/FinEd4All, www.twitter.com/DFIConsumers, www.finlit.blogspot.com, www.youtube.com/user/WADFI, www.homeownership.wa.gov.