SAN FRANCISCO - Unionbancal said Thursday that nonperforming assets increased by 55% from the previous quarter, to $229 million, and by 136% against the year-earlier period.
That news surprised to analysts, who had been told in a profit warning in June that nonperforming assets would be $200 million. Though profits at the company rose 23% for the quarter, to $141.4 million, executives were clearly embarrassed about the 15% discrepancy in nonperforming assets.
"We acknowledge that we've provided less-than-adequate guidance in terms of credit quality in previous conference calls," said Robert M. Walker, vice chairman and head of the commercial and wholesale bank.
Stressing that the company takes the restructuring of its corporate risk management seriously, Mr. Walker told analysts the bank had recently agreed to hire three senior executives to handle credit quality issues. Michael LaRusso, who left Citigroup's compliance group this year, will head a new business group - the independent risk monitoring group - that will align all credit and risk management functions. He also will join the bank's executive management committee.
Reporting to Mr. LaRusso is Baghdo Akay, 48, as chief credit examination officer, and William J. Stolte, 53, as general auditor for the bank and holding company. Both come from Deloitte & Touche.