WASHINGTON — A coordinated effort to save a small Pittsburgh mutual, which had fallen victim to fraud, failed late Friday as it was taken over by regulators.
The Office of Thrift Supervision closed the $13 million-asset Dwelling House Savings and Loan. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., appointed as the institution’s receiver, said the Pittsburgh subsidiary of PNC Financial Services Group Inc. would assume all $13.8 million of the failed thrift’s deposits and acquire $3 million of its assets.
Dwelling House, a minority-owned institution, failed despite a push by local residents and community leaders to boost capital and deposits at the ailing institution. It faced a $1 million capital hole after cyber thieves stole more than $3 million through fraudulent automated clearing house transactions. Several foundations and Dollar Bank, also based in Pittsburgh, had agreed to provide a cash infusion.
But efforts to help Dwelling House ran into complications related to its status as a mutual, which typically cannot raise capital through traditional means.
At one point, it appeared a failure had been averted. The OTS inadvertently issued a press release on July 31 that indicated Dwelling House had been slated for closure then, but later attempted to recall the e-mail sent to media outlets in a sign that the release was premature.
On Friday, the OTS said the institution was beyond saving. Its failure was the industry’s 73rd this year.
“Dwelling House … was in an unsafe and unsound condition, was critically undercapitalized and had no reasonable prospect of recovery,” the OTS said in a press release.
The FDIC said the failure is estimated to cost the Deposit Insurance Fund $6.8 million, more than half of Dwelling House’s asset size. The thrift — founded in 1890 — was one of the oldest banks in the country.
In May, the OTS issued a prompt corrective action directive to Dwelling House, citing the need to raise capital in light of the improper clearing house transactions. The institution had reported a $2.6 million loss in 2008.
The order said the institution needed a plan to become adequately capitalized by June 30.