Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

News Release

Friday, January 08, 2010


Lyn Peters, Director of Communications
PH (360) 902-8731 lyn.peters@dfi.wa.gov

Brad Williamson, DFI Director, DFI Division of Banks
PH (360) 902-8704 banks@dfi.wa.gov


Washington Federal Of Seattle, WA Purchases Horizon Bank After Closure By WA Department Of Financial Institutions

Horizon branches with Saturday drive-up services will operate as normal — branches not regularly open Saturday will reopen Monday as branches of Washington Federal

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) closed Horizon Bank today, citing inadequate capital and severe loan losses. Immediately following the closure, DFI named the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver of Horizon Bank.

The FDIC immediately entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Washington Federal, headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Washington Federal will assume all deposits and certain assets of Horizon Bank, excluding certain brokered deposits.

“Horizon’s capital has been depleted by large loan losses,” Brad Williamson, Director of DFI’s Division of Banks explained. “Like many banks across the country, Horizon’s real estate construction and development portfolio has suffered as real estate values have fallen.”

“While we are always disappointed when a bank is unable to continue safe and sound financial operations,” DFI Director Scott Jarvis said, “we are very pleased to see a bank with deep roots in Washington undertaking a whole bank purchase, insuring the deposits and loans of individuals, businesses and public entities throughout Washington.”

Horizon Bank, headquartered in Bellingham, Wash. has branches located in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish and Pierce counties. All will be assumed by Washington Federal. Branches that provide drive-up services on Saturday will reopen on Saturday with normal business hours as branches of Washington Federal. The main office and all of Horizon’s 18 branches will reopen on Monday, Jan. 11 as branches of Washington Federal.

Throughout the weekend and transition, Horizon Bank customers can access their funds by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards. Checks will continue to be processed. Loan customers should continue to make their payments as usual. Online services also will remain available.

As of Sept. 30, 2009, Horizon Bank had total assets of $1,299,986,000 and total deposits of $1,174,360,000.

Washington Federal operates 150 offices in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Texas and New Mexico. Established in 1917, the company provides residential real estate loans, commercial real estate financing, consumer deposit accounts and business banking. On September 30, 2009, the company reported $12.6 billion in assets, $7.8 billion in deposits and $1.7 billion in stockholders’ equity.

Horizon Bank customers seeking more information about the closure should visit www.dfi.wa.gov/banks/horizon.htm or www.fdic.gov or you may call Washington Federal toll-free at 1.800.955.9194 or visit www.washingtonfederal.com.

For more information about deposit insurance for Washington banks and credit unions, visit www.dfi.wa.gov/consumers/deposits.htm. For details about FDIC coverage and requirements, visit www.fdic.gov or call toll-free 1.877.ASK.FDIC.

DFI recently released FAQs for bank business loan customers in turbulent times at http://dfi.wa.gov/banks/business-loan-faqs.htm.

About Division of Banks
www.dfi.wa.gov/banks ▪ 360.902.8704 ▪ 877.RINGDFI (746.4334) x 28704
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions Division of Banks regulates more than 90 Washington State-chartered commercial banks, stock savings banks, mutual savings banks, foreign banks, savings and loan associations and independent trust companies. We charter new banks, business development corporations, trust companies, foreign banks and savings & loan associations. Also, we authorize new branches and branch closures; and approve mergers & acquisitions. Learn more about the Division of Banks.

About DFI
www.dfi.wa.gov ▪ 360.902-8700 ▪ 877.746-4334
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions regulates a variety of financial service providers such as banks, credit unions, mortgage brokers, consumer loan companies, payday lenders and securities brokers and dealers. The department also works to improve financial education throughout Washington through its outreach programs and online clearinghouse www.dfi.wa.gov/financial-education. In addition to posting information about licensees and administrative actions, DFI uses the Web and social media to provide financial education information: http://www.twitter.com/FinEd4All, www.twitter.com/DFIConsumers, www.finlit.blogspot.com, www.youtube.com/user/WADFI, www.homeownership.wa.gov.