The Federal Reserve Board has put the kibosh on Virginia Commerce Bancorp's plan to start paying back the Treasury Department this summer.
The $3 billion asset company in Arlington (VCBI) announced the postponement alongside its second-quarter results. The company reported earnings of $6.4 million for the quarter, a 14% drop from a year earlier as its loan-loss provision and noninterest expenses increased.
The company received a $71 million investment from the Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program in late 2008. It said in a press release on Thursday that it wanted to start the process to incrementally repay the investment at the end of June.
We "have initiated discussions with appropriate Fed officials, on their guidance, we have delayed our application until at least the end of the third quarter," said Peter A. Converse, president and chief executive in a press release.
The company added that it has not received any notification from the Treasury about plans to sell its shares in a pooled auction. Such sales are for those companies the Treasury does not believe will be able to redeem their shares in the next year and a half.
Virginia Commerce is not particularly stressed. Its tangible common equity ratio was 7.79% at the end of the second quarter; analysts typically say that a ratio above 7% is healthy. Meanwhile, its nonperforming assets were $60 million, or 2% of assets. Nonperforming assets were down 17% from the first quarter, but up 27% from the end of 2011.
The company's health makes the delay curious, says one analyst.
"Although capital levels and asset quality appears satisfactory, we are concerned about the Federal Reserve's fresh guidance to delay the company's TARP repayment application — perhaps the regulators see something that we do not," said David C. Peppard, an analyst with Janney Montgomery Scott, in a research note.