Thursday, October 22, 2009

FDIC gets creative in bank liquidation

A typical FDIC transaction involves what's called "Whole Bank with Loss Sharing”. That means the bidder has to be a bank or be pre-approved for a bank charter. The acquirer takes over the failed bank, all of it's deposits and the bulk of it's assets. The FDIC shares in future losses on the acquired portfolio.

Banks willing to acquire other banks are few and far between these days due to significant capital constraints. Non-bank capital is sometimes easier to access. Therefore the FDIC decided to take a slightly different path with respect to Corus Bank in Chicago. The bank (11 branches) with most of it's deposits ($7 billion - mostly CDs) went to MB Financial Bank. The bulk of the assets however was sold to a consortium of private equity firms including Starwood, TPG, Perry Capital, and a JV between Wilbur Ross and LeFrak Organization. The consortium bought $4.5 billion of condominium loans and foreclosed properties.

By involving non-bank capital, the FDIC was able to get MB Financial to take over the bank. MB Financial did not have the resources nor the stomach to take risk on the $4.5 billion of condo assets. The FDIC will need to do more of this in order to place failed banks in the hands of someone who can operate them. It needs to be open for more non-bank capital to bid on bank assets in order to make it palatable for "healthier" banks to step in.

The question that still remains is how Corus (and banks like it) used taxpayer insured CDs to finance a concentrated condo loan portfolio and whether the condo developers "encauraged" the bank to lend.
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