First Mariner Bancorp has warned investors that it is in danger of failing.
The Baltimore company said in its annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it is running out of time to raise much-needed capital. "First Mariner currently does not have any material amounts of capital available to invest in the bank," the filing said. Regulators "could take additional enforcement action against us" including directing "us to seek a merger partner or possibly place the bank in receivership."
Regulators had ordered the company to increase its bank's capital levels by June 30, 2010. As of Dec. 31, 2011, First Mariner is significantly undercapitalized and unable to achieve compliance by providing more capital to its bank, Friday's filing said. First Mariner had a negative equity position at the end of last year.
First Mariner's bank was required to have a leverage ratio of 7.5% and a total risk-based capital ratio of 11% by mid-2010. At Dec. 31, those ratios stood at 3% and 5.5%, respectively.
Last April, First Mariner secured a commitment from New York hedge fund Priam Capital I LP, which planned to invest $36.4 million in the company. Priam made it clear that First Mariner had to raise an additional $123.6 million in capital. Several deadlines have since passed.
First Mariner said in its annual report that it is "uncertain" whether Priam will stay committed. If the agreement is terminated, the company said it would "seek alternative strategies" though it's "uncertain whether any such alternative strategies will be identified or successfully carried out."