Local bankers know they’re not the most popular guys around town these days. But the banking model doesn’t work so well when real estate prices are fluctuating so wildly and major industries are falling by the wayside. There were two banking panels this week both centered around the topic of why banks seem tighter lending than this time two years ago. Both had a similar refrain.
Now that federal regulators have blessed the deal, two local banks can move ahead with their merger. Union First Market Bank, as the new company is called, will still have outlets in supermarkets.
According to the agreement, Bank of Virginia must submit to regulators a plan that improves its loan policies, credit risk management and board oversight, among other requirements. The bank must also complete a management review and develop a strategic plan to improve the bank’s earnings and budget for 2010.
At the request of state and federal regulators, Richmond-based Virginia Business Bank must submit a survival plan that assesses management and basic metrics and prevents the bank from lending more to borrowers who are behind on payments.
It’s no fun to be a banker right now. Businesses are complaining about their loans or credit lines, and the government is getting more and more active in regulation. But an out-of-state bank thinks there is room for another in Richmond. This week, BizSense chats with Hugh Newton, the regional president of M&T Bank.
Union Bank & Trust, based in Bowling Green but in the process of buying First Market Bank, recently closed the doors of its Pouncey Tract Road location.
When Maggie L. Walker founded St. Luke Penny Savings in Richmond 106 years ago, she became the first female bank president in the country. The institution survives today as Consolidated Bank and Trust, but a proposed merger with an out-of-state holding company threatens the historical namesake.
The bank planned on raising $6 million to $9 million last fall, but, given the economic climate, that has proved more difficult than expected. The company was only able to raise a fraction of that amount.
Just when it seemed mortgage rates couldn’t get any lower, First Market Bank dipped below 4 percent on mortgages for homes sold by homebuilders they lent to. Other banks followed suit, and the program is helping sell houses.
Eight local bank branches previously operated by Maryland-based Provident Bank are under new ownership, and the new owner has a reputation for being SBA-friendly.