Just three months after saying its problems had begun to level off, Sterling Financial Corp. in Spokane, Wash., unexpectedly ousted its longtime leader and was ordered by regulators to boost capital levels.

The $12.4 billion-asset company said Wednesday night that Harold B. Gilkey, its 70-year-old co-founder, chairman, president and chief executive, and Heidi B. Stanley, the chairman and CEO of its Sterling Savings Bank, had both left. The next morning, the company revealed the order from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Washington Department of Financial Institutions, which also directed the bank unit to "have and retain qualified management."

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.