Anatomy of a bank failure | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Anatomy of a bank failure

Posted By on Sat, Aug 16, 2008 at 6:56 AM

NY Times today profiles a bank regulator who oversaw the takeover of the failing ANB bank in Bentonville. The article touches on the source of the bank's problems and mentions that the FDIC now has some $145 million in properties backed by bad loans for sale on its website.

Mr. Holloway and five colleagues huddled in the bank’s loan office in St. George, Utah. Two-thirds of ANB’s loans had been made in Utah.

“I was the asset manager, and the biggest assets were in Utah,” he said. “They also had offices in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Idaho Falls, Idaho. So we consolidated them.”

ANB, like other smaller banks, had been eager to grow and had determined that its local northern Arkansas housing market, heavily laced with retirees looking for new leisure homes, was saturated. It moved further west and into construction loans. Those can be among the most treacherous because it takes years to determine if the development is successful, if people will buy the properties and if the bank will be repaid.

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