Archive for July, 2010
Government regulators shut down three banks earlier this afternoon, bringing the total to 106 in 2010. Details below.
I’ll be out of the office a little early this evening to enjoy some of this nice Whatcom County weather with my daughter, so if there are some West Coast closures, I’ll add them in over the weekend or on Monday.
No. 104: Northwest Bank and Trust of Ackworth, Ga. was closed, then taken over by State Bank & Trust Co. of Macon, Ga. Northwest had two branches. Estimated cost to the FDIC: $38.9 million.
No. 105-106: Bayside Savings Bank of Saint Joe, Fla. and Coastal Community Bank of Panama City Beach Fla. were both closed and taken over by Centennial Bank of Conway, Ark. Both banks had 13 branches. Total estimated cost to the FDIC: $110.7 million.
Here’s a press release from Labor & Industries about a regular summer scam:
The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) today warned Washington homeowners and businesses to beware of asphalt paving scammers that may pressure you to repair your driveway.
The seasonal scam has been reported recently in Cowlitz County.
In the summer months, it’s not unusual for these paving crews to come into the state and travel around hitting different communities – often targeting senior citizens. The workmanship may be poor, the asphalt inferior and the prices inflated, but by the time problems appear, the crew has moved on to a different area or another state.
Typically, the representatives will approach a homeowner or business and offer to repave a driveway or parking lot for a great low price. They’ll claim they have just enough asphalt left over from another job nearby. The representatives are usually polite, drive nice work vehicles and can be very persuasive.
In a recent instance in Cowlitz County, a young couple was persuaded to go to the bank and withdraw cash to pay for the asphalt paving job. Within a couple of weeks, the asphalt started breaking up and coming off in chunks.
“Never let anyone rush you into making a decision about home repairs or improvements, no matter how good the deal seems at the time,” said Rich Ervin, L&I’s program manager for contractor registration. “Be wary of great bargains, lifetime guarantees and other high-pressure sales tactics.”
Columbia Bank released its second quarter earnings report, some of the highlights are below. One interesting part to the report is Columbia’s intention to add offices north of Seattle.
“To help fill in our geographic footprint between Seattle and Bellingham, we anticipate opening two additional branches in northwest Washington, and will apply for reglatory approval when appropriate locations are determined,” said Melanie Dressel, president and CEO, said in the report.
Here are some details about the earnings:
TACOMA, Wash., July 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Columbia Banking System, Inc. (NASDAQ:COLB) today announced net income applicable to common shareholders of $3.9 million for the second quarter of 2010 compared to a net loss applicable to common shareholders of $6.6 million for the same quarter of 2009. On a diluted per common share basis, net income for the quarter was $0.11, compared to a net loss of $0.37 for the second quarter of 2009. The continuing challenges of the difficult economy resulted in management’s decision to record a $13.5 million provision for loan losses for the quarter. In addition, earnings were impacted by one-time conversion expenses due to the FDIC-assisted acquisition of the former Columbia River Bank completed during the first quarter 2010. The conversion of the former American Marine Bank is scheduled for third quarter 2010.
Net income applicable to common shareholders for the six months ended June 30, 2010 was $10.8 million, compared to a net loss of $6.2 million for the first six months of 2009. On a diluted per common share basis, net income for the first six months of 2010 was $0.34, compared to a loss of $0.35 a year earlier.
Melanie Dressel, President & Chief Executive Officer commented, “We are continuing to implement our strategic initiatives to benefit from the current disruptions in our industry and to increase our presence in the Pacific Northwest. The transitions of the former Columbia River Bank and American Marine Bank to the Columbia Bank family are proceeding successfully, although we have not yet seen the full benefit or normalization in expenses relating to the two acquisitions.”
Dressel noted, “We will continue to enhance our future growth by hiring experienced teams of bankers who give us access to new clients and markets, and by adding retail locations that make strategic sense for us. We are also pleased with our ability to maintain our historically stable net interest margin supported by solid core deposits. As the economy improves, we believe we are well positioned for the future as a Pacific Northwest regional community bank.”
For further details, click this (link).
A downtown Bellingham restaurant owner has decided to close because the economic climate continues to remain uncertain.
Catrina Bremer said she will keep Nona Rosa’s Ristorante open until the end of August, giving customers a chance to use remaining gift certificates and to say good-bye. She plans on making it an upbeat final month, serving many of the Italian restaurant’s signature dishes and possibly having one more porchetta event, where a pig is roasted in the Italian tradition.
“On the one hand it’s been so much fun, but on the other hand it’s been very difficult,” Bremer said about running the restaurant. “We’ve accomplished so many great things, but it’s been a struggle and I didn’t want to get in a situation where I would lose my house.”
Bremer opened the restaurant at 113 E. Magnolia St. (near the Railroad Avenue intersection) in June 2008, a few weeks before the national financial meltdown. At the beginning of 2010 Bremer considered closing the restaurant, but decided to stick it out for a little longer to see if the economy would improve enough.
“We’re just too new a business to keep trying to weather this,” she said.
The restaurant will be open Wednesday through Sunday at 5 p.m. for dinner for the final month. The 2,700-square-foot space is available for lease through Saratoga Commercial Real Estate.
The number of Whatcom County residents more than 90 days late on a mortgage payment continues to increase, according to the latest national report.
In June 3.83 percent of all Whatcom County mortgages were more than 90 days delinquent, according to data collected by CoreLogic. That’s up from 3.81 percent in May and has steadily risen since January 2009, when the rate was 2.08 percent.
Whatcom County delinquency rate remains below the state (5.74 percent) and national (8.05 percent) average.
The percentage of Whatcom homes in some stage of foreclosure also rose in June, to 1.12 percent. In May it was 1.04 percent and 0.67 percent in January 2009. The state rate in June was 1.88 percent, while the national rate was 3.06 percent.
The real estate owned rate — the percentage of loans not sold at auction and returned to the lender — was 0.2 percent in Whatcom County last month, up from 0.19 percent in May. The state rate was 0.3 percent in June, while the national rate was 0.69 percent.
Oil company ConcoPhillips, which operates the Ferndale refinery, had a strong second quarter, according to its just released earnings report. Here’s a (link) to a Bloomberg wire service story with details. While rising crude oil prices was a main factor for increased profits, a few other reports also mentioned the refineries returning to profitability helped.
The Table, owned by the Bellingham Pasta Co., will be opening today 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., according to the company’s Facebook fan page. It’s next to the Mount Baker Theatre in the former Pacific Cafe space.
Bellingham Pasta Company co-owners Nikki Williamson, Anna Rankin and Katie Hinton renovated the space, which will serve as a restaurant as well as a retail/wholesale space for the pasta company.
The restaurant will be open for lunch, dinner and dessert, offering soups, salads and sandwiches to go along with its pasta products. The owners have applied for a liquor license to sell beer and wine and plan to offer catered events.
– Cinco De Mayo Restaurant at 3040 Northwest Ave., in the retail center across from Yeager’s Sporting Goods, closed this past weekend.
The Skagit Valley Herald is reporting Bed Bath & Beyond is opening a store in the former Linens-N-Things building in Burlington. Here’s the (link).
Looking at retail industry news, it seems Bed Bath & Beyond is experiencing better numbers nationally and has announced other expansions.
It appears Columbia is expanding its presence here in Whatcom County (see press release below). Currently the bank has an office in the Cordata/Meridian area.
Columbia Bank has hired two new commercial banking teams with three executives in Everett and four in Bellingham. Spearheaded by new Senior Vice President and Northern Regional Manager Dennis Joines, the teams were developed to further the availability of Columbia Bank’s expertise in commercial banking to the north Puget Sound region.
Joines offers more than 35 years of experience in the industry, having held numerous executive-level roles with national, regional and community banks.
“Dennis has done a wonderful job of recruiting top banking talent from around Snohomish, Whatcom and Skagit Counties,” said Melanie Dressel, president and CEO of Columbia Bank in a press release. “Each of our new team members brings valuable experience, gained in notable financial institutions around Puget Sound. Their collective experience is a valuable asset to the communities of both Everett and Bellingham.”
Sue Cedergreen, SVP, team leader of the Bellingham group brings 30 years of experience to her new position. Managing a team of three, Cedergreen oversees:
– Chris Fowler, VP, customer relationship manager, brings 11 years of industry expertise to his new position.
– Erin Baras has five years of commercial banking experience.
– Violet Martinson has 35 years of expertise in the north Puget Sound region.
Steve Hoekstra, SVP, team leader in Everett, has held commercial banking positions in the north Puget Sound region for more than 30 years. He manages a team of two, including:
– Dennis Carlin, has 10 years of industry experience in the Puget Sound region.
– Amy Phan, has eight years of banking in the region to support the efforts of the team.
Below is a press release from Fantastic Sams, which is offering discounts for those interested in buying a franchise license:
Seattle, WA – July 27, 2010 – In this struggling economy and tight credit market, Fantastic Sams is making a radical change by offering some sizable incentives for new business owners in most markets throughout Fantastic Sams Rocky Mountain Region. For a limited time, new Fantastic Sams franchisees have the opportunity to buy a new franchise license for only $5,000 which is a $20,000* savings over the standard cost of a license and they can also save an additional $20,000* in related salon opening expenses. These savings can total as much as a 40% to 50% cost reduction when opening new locations. Several new salon owners have already taken advantage of this program and become a part of the 35 year old Fantastic Sams family of full service hair salons.
“With the depressed retail real estate climate, better locations are available at significantly lower lease rates than we have seen in more than a decade and we can help pass these savings directly on to our new franchisees,” said Scott Baird, Director of Market Development for Fantastic Sams Rocky Mountain Region. “It’s often touted that the hair care industry is recession resistant and we want to do everything we can to leverage this opportunity and expand our full service, family hair salon concept.”
For qualified candidates, Fantastic Sams will support the entire start-up process without the normal, up-front costs that are typically a part of opening a new salon. This support includes site selection, lease negotiations, salon space plans along with a host of other support systems to help new franchisees take full advantage of this unique opportunity.
“Fantastic Sams has been such a great business opportunity for so many of our owners over the years,” says Brent Christensen, a Fantastic Sams Rocky Mountain Regional owner. “For the right qualified candidates, in select markets, we have developed this comprehensive program that lowers the initial franchise license fee by 80%, as well as significantly lowering other start-up costs such as special supplier discounts and reduced fees. These, combined with the possibility of lower lease rates, free rent and assistance from landlords in building out the salon space, adds up to a considerable savings. Also, Washington was just named one of the top states for access to investment capital.”
To take advantage of the Fantastic Sams 20/20 Franchise Sales program, or for further information, interested parties can contact Scott Baird at 1-800-287-3081 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Fantastic Sams:
Fantastic Sams started in 1974 in Memphis , Tennessee , when Sam Ross opened his first salon. In 1976 he began franchising and marketing his full service, family hair salon concept with an emphasis on “no appointment necessary” and excellent service at a great price! Today, Fantastic Sams has over 1,300 salons nationally and provides solid support systems to keep the salons ahead of the competition.
Offer is by prospectus only and is only offered within the FSRM Inc regions within the Western USA . Offer for a limited time only and may be cancelled at any time by FSRM Inc.
* Savings will vary by individual location and could be substantially more in some cases depending on lease terms & supplier discounts, but will be a minimum of $32,090 of controllable costs by FSRM.