The Office of Thrift Supervision has given Superior Bancorp of Birmingham, Ala., until the end of March to strengthen capital ratios significantly.

The $3.4 billion-asset company announced Thursday that it and its thrift unit had entered into cease-and-desist orders with the OTS.

The agreement with the thrift requires it to have a leverage ratio of 10% and a total risk-based capital ratio of 14% by March 31.

At June 30, the leverage ratio was 5.64% and the total risk-based capital ratio was 8.85%.

Those levels made it adequately capitalized.

Superior has yet to report its third-quarter results.

The agreement with Superior gives it 60 days to submit a capital plan that will ensure those targets are reached by the thrift.

The thrift order also calls for it to maintain its allowance for loan losses at an appropriate level, reduce its classified assets and stop making loans to certain stressed sectors of the economy.

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