WA Troubled Banks Update (Plus National Bank Bonus)

Let’s have an updated look at Washington State’s troubled banks. The following charts are based on data from the FDIC, the NCUA, and Calculated Risk’s latest Unofficial Problem Bank List (updated 03/19).

There have been a few changes since our last update in February. Rainier Pacific Bank of Tacoma failed in late February, North Cascades National Bank in Chelan and The Cowlitz Bank in Longview were added to the troubled list, and in mid-February, four banks (including one troubled bank) merged to form the Bank of the Northwest. Also, a couple weeks ago Kirsten Grind launched her own list over at the Puget Sound Business Journal keeping track of our state’s troubled banks and the various enforcement actions they are operating under.

Here’s our updated map of all of Washington State’s banks and credit unions. For the banks, troubled banks are in red, non-troubled are in green. The size of each circle represents the total assets of each institution:

Hit the jump below for a visual of where our state’s troubled banks are located, as well as a national look at banks by Texas Ratio and Capitalization Rate that I assisted Mish in developing.

Washington’s twenty-five troubled banks are now in nine of thirty-nine counties, with the bulk of the problem still centered in King, Snohomish, and Spokane counties.

Spokane County has only two troubled banks, but with the biggest in the state based there (Sterling), the size of the problem is somewhat overwhelming. 36% of Washington’s banks (by size) are currently on the unofficial problem bank list. 38% of that total is Spokane-based Sterling. The next-largest troubled bank in Washington is Everett-based Frontier (whose CEO insists that things aren’t that bad), representing just 14% of the assets in troubled banks.

Also, if you’d like to play with a full-screen version of the map that allows the selection of multiple counties, you can do that here.

Lastly, here’s a similar interactive map of banks across the country, with “troubled” being represented by an inordinately high Texas Ratio. This viz was created by Mish (with a little help from yours truly), and posted on his site last week.

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1
    Ross says:

    It’s interesting that there’s so many troubled banks in Texas, when they seemingly did not have (or did not have much) of a housing bubble.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    Scotsman says:

    I read the other day that Benny B. is changing his tune on the banks, saying that there should be absolutely no more bail-outs, and particularly no more bailouts at tax payer expense. Maybe he realizes the tax money won’t be there, and the debt is unsustainable?

  4. 4
    The_Dude_Abides says:

    WRT the Texas ratio – there are $1M NPLs w/ good collateral and $1M NPLs w/ poor collateral…therein lies the investment opportunities. Have the NPLs been written down fairly?

  5. 5
    zzman says:

    The Tim, Just wondering what it means if a credit union trouble status is “unknown.” I’m looking at BECU. If we have accounts there, should we be worried that they may fold?

  6. 6
    The Tim says:

    RE: zzman @ 5 – You’ll notice that all the credit unions are labeled “unknown.” It simply means exactly that. I only have troubled data for the banks, so all the credit unions are of unknown status. My bet is that most of the credit unions are not troubled.

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