Bank of George says capital not a problem following order from regulators

Bank of George on Tuesday reported that regulators ordered it to boost its capital, but the bank said it is nearly in complete compliance with the order.

Bank of George on Feb. 1 signed a consent order with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Nevada Financial Institutions Division. It became the eighth Southern Nevada community bank to sign a regulatory consent order over the last year as the institutions struggle to cope with the recession.

The consent order required the bank to boost its Tier 1 capital ratio, one measure of a bank's equity or net worth, to 9 percent from 8 percent of total assets.

Bank officials said they raised $3.2 million in additional capital last year, including $1.3 million from the bank's board of directors. That brought the capital ratio to 8.9 percent, CEO Diane Fearon said.

The consent order also requires Bank of George to maintain an adequate reserve for potential loan and lease losses, to implement a plan for dealing with nonperforming loans, to adopt a plan dealing with profits and reduction of bank exposure to commercial real estate loans and to end reliance on brokered deposits.

"We shall continue our capital raise in 2011 and strength of our shareholder base," Chairman Edward Nigro said.

Brokered deposits typically come from stock brokerages who sell high-interest certificates of deposit to investors. Brokered deposits represent 4.6 percent of total deposits at Bank of George.

"The board is very comfortable that we're going to be able to satisfy the consent order," Fearon said.

The bank earned $80,000 in the fourth quarter, compared to a $1.1 million loss in the fourth quarter of the previous year, according to SNL Financial, a financial analysis company. The bank reported $124 million in assets at the end of 2010.

The FDIC insures deposits the bank, including all noninterest-bearing checking accounts and lawyer trust accounts .

The bank was established in 2007 and was named for the country's first president, George Washington. It has locations at 9115 W. Russell Road, Suite 110 in Las Vegas and 3275 St. Rose Parkway in Henderson.

Contact reporter John G. Edwards at or 702-383-0420.