The Public Eye

Reports from the Bee's investigative team

June 8, 2010
Ratings agency cites local banks with weaknesses

Several Sacramento-area banks, hit hard by the financial crisis, continue to struggle. A new report by an independent rating agency shows a handful with severe weaknesses placing them at greater risk of failure because of ongoing problems in the residential and commercial mortgage markets.

Granite Community Bank in Granite Bay, cited in a recent Bee investigation as severely stressed, was among local banks cited by Weiss Ratings, a Florida-based financial analysis firm, in its recent list of the nation's weakest lenders.

At the end of May, Granite became the first area bank seized by federal regulators in the current economic crisis. Its operations were assumed by Tri Counties Bank in Chico. Depositors will have full access to their funds.

Weiss described Granite, among other local banks, as "'vulnerable' to future financial difficulties or even failure, based on our analysis of their capital, asset quality, earnings, liquidity and other factors."

Granite Bancshares Inc., parent company of Granite, reported a $345,000 loss for the first quarter of this year, compared to a loss of $196,000 in the quarter a year before. Loans and deposits plummeted in the same period.

Also among the region's weakest banks, Weiss said, is Community Banks of Northern California. The Tracy-based lender has a Sacramento branch. It's owned by Community Bankshares Inc. in Colorado.

It recently was merged into Community Banks of Colorado to respond to some of the problems cited by rating agencies, said Donald Woods, chief executive of Community Bankshares.

But the Colorado bank faces similar problems: Rating agencies gave it low marks and Bankrate.com ranked it lower than 97 percent of similarly sized banks nationwide.

Gold Country Bank in Marysville - cited in a Bee investigation last year as deeply troubled, and poorly rated by Weiss and other experts - recently was acquired by Sacramento-based Golden Pacific Bancorp, Inc.

-- Charles Piller

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.



About The Public Eye

Welcome to The Bee's newest blog: Public Eye. In the coming months, you will see us breaking news here as well as following up on investigations we have published with tidbits, news breaks and behind-the-scenes descriptions of our news-gathering process. Know of a wrong we could right? Send our fraud squad your tips at: fraudsquad@sacbee.com.

The Public Eye

Categories


October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Monthly Archives