Weiss Ratings: Habersham Bank, Citizens Bank, Charter Oak Bank and San Luis Trust Bank FSB Identified as Weak Nearly a Year Ahead of Closings

JUPITER, Florida (February 22, 2011) — On Friday, regulators closed four banks: Habersham Bank, Clarkesville Georgia; Citizens Bank of Effingham, Springfield Georgia; Charter Oak Bank, Napa California and San Luis Trust Bank FSB, San Luis Obispo California.  This brings the total number of U.S. bank and thrift failures to 22 for 2011. 

Habersham Bank, Clarkesville Georgia, northeast of Atlanta, with assets of $395.6 million at September 30, 2010 had been rated E- (“Very Weak”) for the last five quarters by Weiss Ratings and was first identified as “Weak” in June 2008 based on first quarter 2008 data.  It reported a loss of more than $6.4 million through September 30, 2010.  Habersham had below-FDIC-mandated Tier 1 (5%) and Risk-Based Capital (6%) ratios of 2.28% and 4.46%, respectively.  Nonperforming loans made up just over 16% of its loan portfolio.  SCBT, NA, Orangeburg, South Carolina with assets of $3.6 billion and a Weiss Rating of “C” will assume the deposits of Habersham Bank. 

Citizens Bank of Effingham, Springfield Georgia, northwest of Savannah, with assets of $222.1 million at September 30, 2010 had been rated E- (“Very Weak”) for the last four quarters by Weiss Ratings and was first identified as “Weak” in March 2010 based on fourth quarter 2009 data.  The bank reported a loss of $5.6 million through September 30, 2010.  Citizens had below-FDIC-mandated Tier 1 (5%) and Risk-Based Capital (6%) ratios of 2.94% and 5.03%, respectively.  Nonperforming loans represented 19.5% of its loan portfolio.  HeritageBank of the South, Albany, Georgia with assets of almost $680 million and a Weiss Rating of “D+” will assume the deposits of Citizens Bank of Effingham. 

Charter Oak Bank, Napa California, with assets of $139.4 million at September 30, 2010 had been rated E- (“Very Weak”) for the last two quarters by Weiss Ratings and was first identified as “Weak” in January 2010 based on third quarter 2009 data.  The bank reported a loss of just over $9 million through September 30, 2010.  Charter Oak had below-FDIC-mandated Tier 1 (5%) and Risk-Based Capital (6%) ratios of 3.35% and 5.05%, respectively.  Nonperforming loans represented 8.5% of its loan portfolio with charge-offs at 8.6%.  Bank of Marin, Novato, California with assets of $1.2 billion and a Weiss Rating of “B-” will assume the deposits of Charter Oak Bank. 

San Luis Trust Bank FSB, San Luis Obispo California, north of Las Angeles, with assets of just over $306 million at September 30, 2010 had been rated E- (“Very Weak”) for the last quarter by Weiss Ratings and was first identified as “Weak” in January 2010 based on third quarter 2009 data.  The bank reported a loss of more than $5.6 million through September 30, 2010.  San Luis had adequate FDIC-mandated Tier 1 (5%) and Risk-Based Capital (6%) ratios of 5.53% and 8.42%, respectively.  Nonperforming loans represented just over 10% of its loan portfolio.  First California Bank, Westlake Village, California with assets of almost $1.5 billion and a Weiss Rating of “C-” will assume the deposits of San Luis Trust Bank FSB.

Weiss Ratings, the nation’s independent provider of bank and insurance company ratings, accepts no payments for its ratings from rated institutions.  It also distributes independent ratings on the shares of thousands of publicly traded companies, mutual funds, closed-end funds and ETFs.

# # #