AmericanWest Bancorp in Spokane said Thursday that it is exploring strategic alternatives after losing $6.2 million, or 36 cents a share, in the second quarter because of bad loans.

The $2.1 billion-asset parent of AmericanWest Bank said one of the bank's three capital ratios has slipped below the level needed to qualify as well capitalized. The total risk-based capital ratio was 9.68% as of June 30, and an additional $6.3 million would be required to boost that ratio above the 10% mark.

The company has hired Sandler O'Neill & Partners LLP to help raise capital and evaluate other alternatives.

Because of adverse conditions in the capital markets, AmericanWest Bancorp said, it has suspended a public offering announced May 29 of up to $34.5 million of trust-preferred securities.

The company had earned $4.5 million a year earlier. On average, analysts had expected it to break even, according to Thomson Reuters.

AmericanWest's stock fell 9.8% Thursday, to $2.13.

Nonperforming assets more than tripled from a year earlier, to $72.6 million, or 3.44% of total assets. The loan-loss provision increased tenfold, to $16.4 million.

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