Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Surveillance 101: Tracking bank degradations over time.

Case Study: Alliance Bank of Culver City, California

Alliance Bank was taken over by the FDIC last week and the assets sent to California Bank & Trust, a unit of Zions Bank. The Alliance case was typical case of a small institution that got trapped in the aftermath of a deflating bubble. It ended life the owner of a growing portfolio of foreclosed properties stemming from a lending default rate dragging operational earnings deep into the negative. Their Aggregate Loan Default Rate went from a miniscule 26bp (basis points) to 496bp and their Loss Given Default rate was 96%.

As it has been doing with regularity, the FDIC performed it's designated regulatory function taking the troubled entity into the arms of a better positioned and healthier financial institution. In fact, the degradation of Alliance's position took approximately nine months to gestate. The bank's overall stress ratings over time are shown below.

IRA Bank Stress Ratings: Alliance Bank, Culver City, CA
Sep-08 - F
Jun-08 - F
Mar-08 - B
Dec-07 - A
Sep-07 - A+

Like many other institutions who were caught in the bubble a migration of business from income producing to dead weight ensued. Non-Conforming assets went from $17.7M in Sep-07 to $96.5M in Sep-08. During the same time Real Estate Owned(REO) went from $1.1M to $16.6M.

Note: I was interviewed about Alliance on Monday by KNBC-TV Los Angeles. The segment aired on Tuesday Feb. 10.

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