As a similarly named neighbor was being taken over by regulators, First Midwest Bancorp Inc. decided to assert its strength.

The $7.6 billion-asset company in Itasca, Il., issued a press release late Friday reaffirming that it is exceedingly well-capitalized. The release was issued minutes after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took Midwest Bank and Trust Co. in Elmwood Park, Ill, into receivership, selling most of that franchise to FirstMerit Corp. of Akron, Ohio.

"Now more than ever, it is important to understand the distinction between banks that are struggling and a strong and trusted bank like First Midwest," said Michael Scudder, president and chief executive of First Midwest, in the press release.

At the end of the first quarter, First Midwest's bank unit had a total risk-based capital ratio of 17.2%.

It was not the first time First Midwest was prompted to make such a distinction, it issued a similar press release in early April when regulators placed Midwest Bank on a prompt corrective action directive.

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