Plaza Bank confirms plans to take over 1st Commerce Bank

Plaza Bank has agreed to assume the deposits and buy the assets of a small bank in North Las Vegas, seized by federal regulators, the bank’s CEO and president confirmed Thursday.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said it seized 1st Commerce Bank, with one office and about $20.2 million in assets and $19.6 million in deposits as of March 31.

In addition, Plaza Bank and the FDIC agreed to share losses on $12.2 million of 1st Commerce Bank’s loans and other assets.

“It’s an appealing size of assets at a reasonable price that allow us to continue to grow and maintain our visibility in the Las Vegas marketplace,” Gene Galloway, president and CEO of Irvine, Calif.-based Plaza Bank, said in a phone interview Thursday.

The failure of 1st Commerce is expected to cost the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund $9.4 million. The acquisition of 1st Commerce Bank gives Plaza Bank its second branch in Southern Nevada.

Galloway said after a meeting late Thursday with the bank’s staff that it was on to “step two,” which is figuring out what assets to sell. The one branch at 5135 Camino Al Norte in North Las Vegas will open today as a Plaza Bank branch, the FDIC said.

Plaza Bank’s second branch is located at 8275 W. Flamingo Drive.

The seizure of 1st Commerce Bank means its parent company, Capital Bancorp Ltd., is down four banks since May 1. The FDIC or state regulators also seized Pisgah Community Bank in Ashville, N.C., Sunrise Bank in Valdosta, Ga., and Central Arizona Bank in Phoenix.

Capital Bancorp, which also owns Bank of Las Vegas, opened 1st Commerce Bank in 2006.

As of the first quarter of 2013, Plaza Bank had $438 million in assets, $340.7 million in deposits and $347.8 million in loans net of allowance. Plaza Bank expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to operating earnings per share.

The transaction will increase Plaza Bank’s assets to $452 million.

Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at csieroty@reviewjournal. com or 702-477-3893. Follow @sierotyfeatures on Twitter.