April 30, 2010

Champion Bank, Creve Coeur, acquired by BankLiberty

The Missouri Division of Finance today accepted possession of Champion Bank, Creve Coeur, and appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver. To protect depositors, an agreement to acquire the bank was reached with BankLiberty, a $406 million federal thrift headquartered in Liberty.

Depositors of Champion Bank will automatically become depositors of BankLiberty, and continue to have full access to their money by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards. Checks drawn on the bank will continue to be processed. Loan customers should continue to make their payments as usual. Depositors will continue to be insured by the FDIC. Lobby and drive-up services at the bank's sole location, 11401 Olive Boulevard, will resume on Saturday at 9:00 a.m.

There will be no interruption of services for customers of the former Champion Bank, said Richard J. Weaver, commissioner of the Division of Finance. The demise of this bank is the result of imprudent lending decisions made in high risk, out of territory loans. Losses are more than the bank can support, and management acknowledges that failure of the bank is inevitable. The bank has operated under close regulatory scrutiny since June 2008. 

Weaver said attempts to sell the bank or secure substantial amounts of additional capital were not successful, and as a result the bank's board of directors voted to turn the bank over to the Missouri Division of Finance, as allowed by state law. Assets of the bank totaled $187 million as of Dec. 31, 2009.

Customers who have questions about today's transaction can call the FDIC toll free at 1-800-640-2607. The phone number will be operational this evening until 9 p.m.; on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; on Sunday from noon to 6:00 p.m.; and thereafter from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.