Bank of Whitman Fails, 12 of 20 branches closed

FDIC: Press Releases – PR-132-2011 8/5/2011.

12 of 20 Whitman branches are being shut down and 8 will be taken over by Columbia State Bank. Because Whitman was an employee stock ownership program bank, those employees with stock will lose their entire stock ownership value, as well as losing their jobs.

Previously, the two largest local regional banks, both based in Spokane (Sterling and AmericanWest), largely failed, as did a local credit union. These local banks made many local construction loans. With tighter contraints on lending now in effect, there will likely be less lending available for local construction projects and small businesses, which could slow Spokane’s economy further.

Other regional banks include Wheatland Bank, Bank of Fairfield, Washington Trust Bank and Inland Northwest Bank.

Incompetent management or poor economy in the Spokane area? Your choice. I lean towards bad management since many other banks did not fail.

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