Viking Bank (2227 N.W. 57th St.) has agreed to stricter requirements by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Washington Department of Financial Institutions (WDFI.)
According to the Seattle Times, four more Washington banks, including Viking, have recently been placed under tighter scrutiny. The “Consent Order” for Viking Bank was issued on November 4, 2009 by the FDIC and WDFI (link to .pdf of Consent Order found on this page).
Under the Consent Order, Viking Bank agrees to the stricter oversight “without admitting or denying any charges of unsafe or unsound banking practices relating to weaknesses in capital, asset quality, management and earnings,” the Consent Order states. The Seattle Times says,
The orders vary in their specific terms and conditions, but in general they require banks to clear senior-management changes with regulators; increase capital levels; adopt plans to purge bad loans from their books; and reduce overreliance on certain loan categories, such as commercial real estate.
In addition, the banks generally cannot pay cash dividends, either to individual shareholders or their holding companies, without regulators’ approval.
Emily Wiseman, Marketing Director for Viking Bank, says that like many small-town banks, they have their share of issues. For about a year they’ve been making their own changes and the requirements by the FDIC and WDFI were not a surprise. “We’re very confident in the direction we’re going,” she says. Viking Bank has been pro-active in reaching out to their customers and Wiseman stresses that this order has absolutely no affect on the safety of customer deposits. She says that they welcome questions from both customers and non-customers alike who are looking for more clarification. (Thanks BBO for posting this in the forum.)