Hibernia Corp. is trying to recover a $30 million loan it made to an oil company that filed for bankruptcy protection last month.
The bank's exposure stems from its participation in a $300 million loan to Forcenergy Inc. of Miami, which was hurt by slumping oil prices. Hibernia's share of the loan is backed by oil and gas reserves, said Hibernia spokesman Jim Lestelle.
This is the second time in a month that Hibernia has dealt with a financially troubled borrower.
On March 11, the company said first-quarter earnings would be about 10 cents a share below analysts' estimates because of merger-related charges and loans to United Companies Financial Corp., a mortgage lender in Baton Rouge, La.
Mr. Lestelle would not say whether Hibernia expects to set aside funds to make up for potential losses related to Forcenergy. Nor did he say whether Forcenergy's bankruptcy filing would hurt Hibernia's earnings, which are to be reported in two weeks. The $14 billion-asset banking company was expected to earn 28 cents a share in the first quarter.