Regulators close Kansas bank in fourth failure of 2020

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Almena State Bank in Kansas was closed by state regulators late Friday, the fourth failure of the year and the second in as many weeks.

The $70 million-asset bank had “experienced longstanding capital and asset quality issues, operating with financial difficulties unrelated to the current economic conditions resulting from the pandemic,” the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said in a press release.

The FDIC said the $4.2 billion-asset Equity Bank in Andover, Kan., will acquire the failed bank’s operations, including two branches and roughly all of its assets. The buyer also agreed to assume all of Almena’s $68.7 million of deposits.

The failure is estimated to cost the Deposit Insurance Fund $18.3 million.

First City Bank of Florida in Fort Walton Beach was closed by state regulators last Friday.

Almena had lost more than $9.3 million since 2018 and had not turned an annual profit since 2017, according to FDIC data. It is the first institution to be shuttered in the Kansas since Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Argonia in October 2017.

Almena had been operating under a consent order from the FDIC since April 2019. It was also one of several banks caught up in a $2 billion check-kiting scheme in 2019.

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