Missouri’s largest bank failure of the year brings the closure of Premier Bank, a billion-dollar bank headquartered in Jefferson City with branches in Osage Beach, Chesterfield, Lake St. Louis, St. Charles and St. Peters as well as in Grapevine, Tx. 

The State Division of Finance and the FDIC say Premier lost $29 million in the last quarter.   Commissioner of Finance Richard Weaver says P:remier failed because of “aggressive lending decisions” with many loans in commercial real estate and development projects that became uncollectable.” 

The bank has been closely watched by regulators for almost three years. 

Premier, which had $989 million in assets at the end of the year’s third quarter, is being taken over by Providence Bank of Columbia, which has $170 million in assets.  Providence Bank is assuming all deposits of Premier–$1.03 billion as of June 30—except for brokered deposits, as well as $658 million of Premier’s assets. The FDIC is keeping the rest of the assets for later disposition. 

     The main Premier bank in Jefferson City and the branches that have Saturday hours will reopen as Providence bank on Saturday morning. State finance division spokesman Travis Ford says all deposits are protected by FDIC insurance and Premier customers can transact their business as usual with the new owners.

The other bank closed today is WestBridge Bank & Trust of Chesterfield.  The FDIC has been appointed the receiver of WestBridge.  Midland States Bank of Effingham, Illinois has agreed to acquire WestBridge.  Midland is a $1.7 billion state bank.  State regulators say operations at WestBridge will continue as usual under the new ownership.  WestBridge also got into trouble because of aggressive lending in commercial real estate and development projects. 

Travis Ford talks closures with Bob Priddy 13:54 mp3