SEE THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG’S STORY ON THE VENTURE BANK FAILURE FROM LAST SATURDAY
including information from the FDIC and warnings earlier this year about Venture Bank’s deterioration.
“As for the status of Venture Financial Group Inc., the company that owned Venture Bank, she [First Citizens, Venture Bank’s new owners’ spokeswoman Barbara Thompson]. She also said Arneson [Venture Bank President and Chief Executive Jim Arneson] no longer is with the bank. As for the status of Venture Financial Group Inc., the company that owned Venture Bank, she said said she couldnt say because First Citizens acquired only Venture Bank. She also had no information about Venture Financial Chairman Ken Parsons Sr. or how Venture stockholders might be affected by the bank sale…
Parsons [Venture Financial Chairman Ken Parsons Sr] is the chairman of the board of trustees at Saint Martins University, Arneson is on the board at the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce, and Joseph Beaulieu, vice president of marketing at Venture, is the board president for the Thurston County Economic Development Council. It was not clear Sunday whether they would continue to serve in those roles…
“Yerrington [South Sound Bank President and CEO Dan Yerrington], a longtime South Sound banker, added that when Venture Bank closed, it felt like ‘a death in the family,'” quoting today’s Olympian.
I have the same sentiments as Mr. Yerrington. I moved here 21 years ago this week from San Francisco and found two Washington State-based bank branches in Yelm; Prairie Security Bank and Puget Sound Bank. First Community Bank opened a branch here in the mid-1990’s. Puget Sound Bank was subsequently purchased by Ohio-based Key Bank. First Community Bank [Venture’s previous name] acquired Prairie Security Bank in 1997. Now, another Yelm bank branch [Venture] is owned by a national conglomerate, leaving Timberland Bank with the only Washington State-based bank branch left in Yelm.
My Letter to then-Venture Bank President in July, 2004
Then I wrote this on Kleiner’s Korner March 7, 2005:
“OF LOCAL NOTE
This writer mentioned to KK readers last year that he was closing his Venture Bank (Yelm) account because of the bank president’s stand on moving forward with a proposal to attract a NASCAR track to Yelm as a private venture yet including no public input, with the opening lines of the proposal saying they represented the community. The lack of regard for the public in this action was a travesty to the very taxpayers that would foot the price tag, in this writer’s opinion. This was the only way I felt I could get this man’s attention. Now comes word that the Venture Bank Board has fired Jon Jones for what was called a “lack of confidence in his (Jones’) decision-making,” which is consistent with his lack of judgment in his NASCAR proposal. I went in to reopen an account at Venture last week as I felt this issue was complete, where I was informed Mr. Jones had previously been released from his post [for having an affair against company policy with a management executive], as reported in The Olympian. Ah, timing!”
The Seattle Times link on Mr. Jones firing.
Venture acknowledges ‘little hope’
“In a filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission today, Venture Financial Group Inc., the holding company for the former Venture Bank, reported that its board of directors will be discussing soon a winding down of the corporate affairs.
The holding company lost most of its assets when state regulators closed the bank last Friday [Sept. 11] and federal bank overseers sold it to First-Citizens Bank and Trust of North Carolina…
Shareholders this week received their own letter from Venture Financial, suggesting that they make plans with their personal investment advisors to realize a total loss of their investment in common stock issued by Venture Financial,” quoting the Business Examiner.
UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 18TH
“‘We believe all value in the shares of the parent company, Venture Financial Group, has been irretrievably lost,’ said Venture Chairman Ken F. Parsons, Sr. in a Sept. 12 letter to its shareholders.
‘The corporation is insolvent and is unable to file financial reports for the fiscal years 2008 and 2009.’
The Washington Department of Financial Institutions closed the bank, citing inadequate capital and severe loan losses.
‘We recommend you consult your tax advisor to determine how this loss may impact you,’ the Venture letter said, quoting the NVN.
Ed. Note: Had not even filed a financial report for fiscal 2008? HMMM!
UPDATE: JANUARY 9, 2010
“$50K average loss, says Venture suit”
“Courts: Unnecessarily risky investments alleged”
“About 250 Venture Financial Group employees who were invested in retirement plans that held company stock lost an average of nearly $50,000 each during a key period before Venture Financial’s primary asset, Venture Bank, closed.
Thats according to Andrew Volk, an attorney at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, the Seattle-based law firm that filed a class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court last month on behalf of employees against Venture Financial Group and its former directors…
Since the filing, some directors have acknowledged receiving the lawsuit, Volk said. They are A. Richard Panowicz, Catherine Mosby, Patricia Graves, Keith Brewe, Sandra Sager and Larry Schorno. Those pending are Ken Parsons Sr., Jim Arneson, Lowell Bridges, Linda Buckner, Patrick Martin and Jewell Manspeaker,” quoting The Olympian.