River Bank America, a suburban New York City bank, reported an $11.8 million loss for its fourth quarter ended June 30 and a $24.4 million loss for its fiscal year, after a dispute with regulators over the value of some of the bank's assets.

Officials at the New Rochelle, N.Y., bank attributed the quarterly loss to the writedown of $9.8 million in foreclosed real estate, largely due to recently completed exams by New York State and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The $1.5 billion-asset bank has been struggling for several years with nonperforming assets that reached a height of 28.8% of total assets and losses in excess of $132 million. It is operating under a 1991 cease-and- desist order from state and federal regulators.

But the $11.8 million loss for the quarter is a sharp reversal from the year-earlier period, when the bank earned $218,000.

Since the examination began last September, River Bank had been arguing with regulators over possible additions to the bank's allowance for loan losses and writedowns of real estate and other assets.

According to a press release from the bank, the discussions have now concluded and the examiners have issued their report. President and chief executive Jerome R. McDougal was not available, and other bank officials declined to comment until they release further information.

Nonperforming assets decreased 13% to $286.1 million, or 19.5% of total assets at June 30. For most community banks, the ratio is around or below 2%.

According to the release, reductions in bad assets for the year were offset by planned construction fundings on residential properties to help with the disposition of the properties, and by "strategic acquisition of senior indebtedness" of $39.6 million on two of the bank's foreclosed properties.

Shareholders' equity stood at $90.1 million, or 6.16% of all assets, while the Tier 1 leverage capital ratio of 6.04% exceeded regulatory requirements.

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