August 29, 2009

FDIC seizes Maryland bank

A Maryland bank founded in 1903 has been seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which arranged to have another institution take over its operations.

Bradford Bank of Towson had been unable to find a buyer, The Baltimore Sun reported. M&T Bank, now one of Maryland's largest lenders, agreed to purchase Bradford's assets from the FDIC.

FDIC officials entered Bradford's headquarters Friday.

People need to be calm. They don't need to change anything, said Glenn A. Watler, an FDIC ombudsman.

Watler said Bradford's nine branches, most of them in Baltimore County, would be open for business Saturday and next week and depositors could continue to get access to their money.

The FDIC issued a cease-and-desist order in February criticizing Bradford for an aggressive growth strategy that was poorly planned and executed, unsupported by adequate and appropriate levels of capital. The bank was ordered July 24 to sell itself within 30 days.

Bradford lost almost $14 million in the first quarter and more than $3 million in the second quarter.