Washington Banking Co. started a public offering of at least $30 million of its common stock as the small northwest Washington company looks to boost its capital levels.

Washington Banking, which operates 18 Whidbey Island Bank branches, has a market value of about $90 million.

Potential uses include paying back the $26.4 million of aid received from the Treasury Department under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

In October, Washington Banking posted a 12% third-quarter profit drop as loan-loss provisions more than doubled and net chargeoffs grew.

Its shares were down 3 cents to $9.27 in after-hours trading. The stock through the close was up 6.9% this year.

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