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Sterling Financial

Spokane-based Sterling Savings Bank and holding company Sterling Financial Corp. were founded in 1983 by William Zuppe and Harold Gilkey.

Les Biller

Sterling Financial paying millions to new chairman

New Sterling Financial Corp. Chairman Les Biller was paid $1.5 million to accept the position, and will receive a total $4.5 million by Dec. 31, 2012, unless he resigns. Biller’s compensation was contained in a Monday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing also disclosed the resignation of all but four members of the Sterling board of directors following completion Thursday of a $730 million recapitalization.

Sterling turns the corner after cease-and-desist order

A new Sterling Financial Corp. management team did not know what would be expected of them in October 2009. Federal and state regulators had forced the board of directors to remove their predecessors. Atop a long list of other stipulations contained in a cease-and-desist order was a requirement Sterling raise $300 million.

Bert Caldwell: Local bank knows the drill

AmericanWest Bancorporation Chief Executive Officer Pat Rusnak took heart last week from Sterling Financial Corp.’s successful effort to raise additional capital. Like Sterling, AmericanWest was ordered by regulators to reinforce its capital base, although the May 2009 notice did not fix the amount of money to be raised. Rusnak said the bank, headquartered at 41 W. Riverside Ave., needs about $125 million.

Sterling recruits capital infusion

Sterling Financial Corp. has arranged $730 million in new investment that will bring the Spokane bank back into compliance with capital requirements 10 months after huge losses on construction and real estate loans brought it to the brink of failing. The parent of Sterling Savings Bank on Friday said the complicated deal, which includes U.S. Treasury Department involvement, is expected to close by Thursday.

Sterling Financial agrees to raise $730 million

Spokane-based Sterling Financial Corporation said today it has reached agreements to raise $730 million in new capital from institutional, private equity and other investors. Expected to close within the next week, the transactions could result in Sterling issuing 4.2 billion shares of stock.

Sterling reports loss

Sterling Financial Corp. reported a second-quarter loss Tuesday of $58.2 million, including a $70.8 million allowance for credit losses. A year ago, the Spokane bank reported a net loss of $33.9 million after a $79.7 million allowance for credit losses.

Sterling Financial reports another quarter of losses

Sterling Financial Corp. today reported a second-quarter loss of $58.2 million, including a $70.8 million allowance for credit losses. A year ago, the Spokane bank reported a net loss of $33.9 million after a $79.7 million allowance for credit losses.

Sterling investment grows

A Wall Street private equity firm has agreed to invest $139 million in Sterling Financial Corp. as the Spokane bank holding company continues its recapitalization effort. Warburg Pincus Private Equity X, L.P. would own 20.5 percent of Sterling provided the company raises the $720 million required to satisfy regulators.

Equity firm to invest $139 million in Sterling

A Wall Street private equity firm has agreed to invest $139 million in Sterling Financial Corp. as the Spokane bank holding company continues its recapitalization effort.

Sterling Financial names board chair

Sterling Financial Corp. on Monday announced the appointment of a former Wells Fargo & Co. executive as chairman of the board. The appointment of Leslie “Les” Biller must be approved by Sterling regulators and is subject to completion of its $720 million recapitalization effort.

Blog Posts

Umpqua Bank starts wildfire fund to help provide short-term loans

Umpqua Bank, which recently merged with Sterling Financial, has started a Wildfire Relief Lending Program to help customers in parts of Washington and Oregon hit hard by wildfires. The new fund allows Umpqua customers who reside in area under voluntary or mandatory evacuation to receive...

No Spokane branches of Sterling Bank will close, says Umpqua

None of Sterling Bank’s nine area branches will be closed during a round of reductions now taking place as Umpqua Bank begins aligning operations in the wake of its takeover of Sterling. Bank officers are closing 27 branches across Washington, Oregon and California during the...

Sterling employees start looking toward their future with Umpqua

We'll be asking what the actual headcount reduction will be, following today's announcement that the Umpqua Bank merger with Sterling Bank has cleared all hurdles. The first signs of the deal will be Sterling’s regional signs being replaced by Umpqua Bank signs the weekend of...

Area’s second-largest business story for 2013: Umpqua buys Sterling Bank

Today's post: The No. 2 business story of the year for the Spokane North Idaho area. Last week we posted No. 3, the widespread credit card breach connected to area grocery stores. No. 2 is the acquisition of Spokane's largest home-based bank, Sterling Financial by...

Sterling share price did show a large spike several days before Umpqua deal

The day after Sterling Financial announced it's being taken over by Portland-based Umpqua Bank, here's one graphic that raises questions about who knew about the merger early-on. The story of the announcement ran in the Sept. 12 Spokesman Review and online. The graphic here shows...

Sterling rebrands Sonoma Bank and Borrego Springs Bank as Argent Bank

Sterling Financial Corporation and its subsidiary, Sterling Savings Bank, announced on Monday the rebranding of its two California banks under the name Argent Bank. The name applies to Sonoma Bank and Borrego Springs Bank, the two banking systems Sterling has acquired in California. It will...

Spokane’s Downtown “Duck Man” a shining star of spring memories

WILDLIFE -- Among the urban wildlife spectacles that stand out in Spokane's history, it's tough to beat the Duck Man's help in ushering a brood of ducklings from their nest at Sterling Savings Bank to the water in Riverfront Park. Joel Armstrong made some good...

Sherwood buildings sold to two area groups, and both got great deals

The downtown business beat continues producing more real estate deals. In Friday's paper was the announcement two groups bought the side-by-side buildings formerly called the Sherwood Mall. In fact, the buildings were built in different eras, and are probably best managed as two different structures....

Sterling Financial had a solid 4Q and a very decent fiscal 2012

IN case you missed on Thursday, Spokane's Sterling Financial Corp. had a good 4Q earnings report. The company, which operates Sterling Savings Bank, announced it booked net income of $20.9 million, or 33 cents per diluted common share, compared to $30.6 million, or 49 cents...

Sterling to acquire three branches of Boston Private in Puget Sound

To read the complete story, go to Spokesman.com later Monday evening or read it in Tuesday's printed editions. Spokane’s Sterling Savings Bank has purchased the Puget Sound operations of publicly traded Boston Private Financial Holdings, Inc. Boston Private, a national financial services group that owns...

Heidi Stanley’s discrimination lawsuit against Sterling Bank is still active

The discrimation lawsuit filed by former Sterling Bank CEO Heidi Stanley remains active in Spokane's County Superior Court. Stanley is suing her former employer for wrongful termination, saying she lost her job after being diagnosed with breast cancer in spring 2009. Sterling officials say the...

Sterling to buy Vancouver, Wash.-based bank

Sterling Financial Corporation of Spokane announced this morning that Sterling Savings Bank plans to buy First Independent Bank of Vancouver, Wash., including all deposits and banking operations, 14 branches in southeastern Washington and two offices in Portland. The purchase is expected to be completed early...

Sterling wins outstanding Washington state civic business award

Two companies from Spokane and Tacoma have received Secretary of State Sam Reed's most prestigious civics award for businesses in Washington state. Reed will present the 2011 Corporations for Communities awards to Spokane-based Sterling Savings Bank and Korsmo Consruction at a ceremony on Nov. 2....

Former Sterling branch manager barred

A former Sterling Savings Bank branch manager in Klamath Falls, Ore., has been barred from the banking industry. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. issued the order against Shannon Kuhlman last month. Kuhlman allegedly engaged in unsound banking practices that will inflict, or probably inflict, significant...

Dickinson takes Sterling post

Marty Dickinson is leaving the Downtown Spokane Partnership to become senior vice president and corporate marketing communications executive at Sterling Savings Bank. Her last day at the DSP, where she has been president for six years, will be July 1. Marla Nunbeg was named interim...
This image shows a woman suspected in a robbery at a Chase Bank branch on West Francis Avenue in Spokane at around noon Monday, May 9, 2011.  Detectives would like to speak with anyone who may have seen her walking on West Francis Avenue between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday.  Witnesses can reach investigators by calling Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Bad Hair Bandit robs Moses Lake bank

A serial bank robber dubbed "the Bad Hair Bandit" is believed to have robbed a bank in Moses Lake on Tuesday. A wigged woman matching the description of the robber thought to be responsible for 14 bank robberies since December entered Sterling Savings Bank and...

Sterling names Andrew Schultheis general counsel

Andrew Schultheis has been appointed executive vice president and general counsel at Sterling Financial Corp. Schultheis, 40, has been outside counsel to Sterling, the parent of Sterling Savings Bank, while with Witherspoon Kelley. Before joining the Spokane law firm in 2005, Schultheis practiced with a...

Sterling reports smaller loss

Sterling Financial Corp. today reported smaller fourth quarter and annual losses. The net loss for the quarter was $38.1 million, down from $48 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30 and $328.7 million for the 2009 fourth quarter. For the year, Sterling's net loss was...

Full resume: Before Sterling, Ezra Eckhardt worked in tech, manufacturing

To add just a bit more focus to the post below about Ezra Eckhardt speaking at the next Greater Spokane Inc. event, here's some more bio on the featured guest. His resume notes that before joining Sterling Savings Bank, Eckhardt was also involved in managing...
Ezra A. Eckhardt, president and chief operating officer of Sterling Savings Bank. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Eckhardt to discuss Sterling’s recapitalization

Ezra A. Eckhardt, president and chief operating officer of Sterling Savings Bank, will visit Greater Spokane Incorporated this week to talk about how he helped lead the bank’s recapitalization project. The BIZStreet “A Conversation With….” event will be Thursday from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Attend...
Detectives are hoping for fresh clues in an armed bank robbery Dec. 2 in Spokane Valley.
A gunman demanded cash from two tellers at Sterling Savings Bank, 11205 E. Sprague Ave., about 2:25 p.m. after walking into the bank with his gun already displayed, according to Spokane Valley Police Department
 "The robber was so low-key and calm, several customers inside the bank at the time were not aware it was being robbed," according to a news release.
Tellers stuffed cash into blue cloths bags with a clinch drawstring at the top, and the robber placed the blue bags into a similar green bag and walked out the east doors of the bank. He was last seen walking eastbound.
He is described as a white man, 25 to 30 years old, 5-foot-6 and 130 pounds. He wore a dark jacket, blue jeans, a knit cap, a scarf covering his lower face and dark glasses over his eye. Police found the glasses, scarf and cap but have not identified a suspect. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to an arrest.
 (Spokane Valley Poilce Department)

Reward for tips on armed bank robber

Detectives are hoping for fresh clues in an armed bank robbery Dec. 2 in Spokane Valley. A gunman demanded cash from two tellers at Sterling Savings Bank, 11205 E. Sprague Ave., about 2:25 p,.m. after walking into the bank with his gun already displayed, according...

SPD nabs Tri-Cities bank heist suspect

Patrol officers arrested a suspected bank robber Monday night after detectives in the Tri-Cities tracked him to northwest Spokane. John T. Walker, 22, was arrested as he fled from a home at 2733 W. Wellesley Ave., about 9:45 p.m., according to a search warrant filed...

Bank robbery update

No arrest has been made in yesterday's bank robbery. A K9 team was unable to track the suspect and people in a home that drew police's attention for a time turned out to be uninvolved, according to police spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan.The robber got away...

Bank robbery near Sprague and Bowdish

The Sterling Savings bank near Sprague and Bowdish was robbed just before 2:30 p.m. Police are flooding the area. Dispatchers say the suspect is discribed as a white male, age 25-30, about 5' 6" tall and 130 pounds. He was reportedly wearing a dark coat,...

New Sterling chairman paid $1.5 million

New Sterling Financial Corp. Chairman Les Biller was paid $1.5 million to accept the position, and will receive a total $4.5 million by Dec. 31, 2012, unless he resigns.Biller's compensation was listed in a Monday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing...

Sterling completes recapitalization

Sterling Financial Corp. has completed the $730 million recapitalization plan announced last week.The money from a mixture of institutional and individual investors will bring the parent of Sterling Savings Bank back into compliance with regulatory capital requirements, Chief Executive Officer Greg Seibly said.Sterling reserves had...

Sterling narrows losses

Sterling Financial Corp. today reported a second-quarter loss of $58.2 million, including a $70.8 million allowance for credit losses.A year ago, the Spokane bank reported a net loss of $33.9 million after a $79.7 million allowance for credit losses. Per share, the 2010 quarter loss...

Treasury OKs Sterling investments

The U.S. Treasury has approved agreements that will inject almost $280 million in private equity investment into Sterling Financial Corp.Warburg Pincus Private Equity X, L.P. and Thomas H. Lee Partners L.P. will each invest $139 million in Sterling, which has undertaken a $720 million recapitalization...

Sterling adds investor

A Wall Street private equity firm has agreed to invest $139 million in Sterling Financial Corp. as the Spokane bank holding company continues its recapitalization effort.Warburg Pincus Private Equity X, L.P. would own 20.5 percent of Sterling if the company successfully completes its $720 million...

Sterling announces new chairman

Sterling Financial Corp. today announced the appointment of a former Wells Fargo & Co. executive as chairman of the board.The appintment of Leslie "Les" S. Biller must be approved by Sterling regulators, and is subject to completion of its $720 million recapitalization effort.Biller is the...

Bank robbery suspect: Voices made me do it

A man accused of robbing a downtown Spokane bank told police voices in his head told him to commit the crime, according to court documents prepared by detectives.It's not the first time David D. Thometz, 47, has blamed crimes on the voices. He was sentenced...

Area companies recognized for community service

The Association of Washington Business Tuesday recognized the volunteerism and community service efforts of 21 Washington companies, including five based in Eastern Washington.The Spokane-area corporate winners were: Associated Industries, for its Bright Promise Scholarship program; PAML, for raising $339,527 for charities such as Shriners Hospital...

Sterling recapitalization plan nears completion

Sterling Financial Corp. today announced new investments that could fulfill the Spokane institution's need for additional capital.Thomas H. Lee Partners, which last week committed $134 million to the recapitalization effort, will increase its investment to $170 million.Sterling said it will also offer, in a private...

Treasury consents to Sterling terms

The U.S. Treasury will accept a steep markdown of its investment in Sterling Financial Corp. as part of a recapitalization plan, the Spokane company announced today.The markdown was a condition imposed by Thomas H. Lee Partners, which has committed $134.7 million to Sterling's recapitalization.Treasury in...

Sterling announces private investment, other steps to meet federal requirements

A Boston private equity firm will invest $134.7 million in struggling Sterling Financial Corp. as part of the Spokane company’s ongoing efforts to raise enough money to meet requirements imposed by federal regulators.As part of that recapitalization effort, Sterling also said it entered into an...

Sterling stock rockets

Shares of Sterling Financial Corp. climbed more than 65 percent Friday on trading volume 15 times normal.The stock, which closed at 87 cents Thursday, finished the Friday trading day at $1.45, and advanced another seven cents in after-hours trading.The 16.2 million shares traded represent almost...

Sterling adopts rights plan

Sterling Financial Corp. has implemented a shareholder rights plan to protect tax assets accumulated as it reported substantial operating and capital losses in recent quarters.The assets, $269 million, can be used to offset an equal amount of future profits. But, said Vice President Dave Brukardt,...

Sterling Financial extends repurchase deadline

Sterling Financial Corp. has extended the expiration date for its effort to buy back $238 million in trust-preferred securities.The deadline was today. April 12 is the new date.The Spokane-based parent of Sterling Savings Bank and Golf Savings Bank is offering 20 cents on the dollar...
Sterling Savings Bank,sterlingsavingsbank.com (The Spokesman-Review)

Sterling Savings Bank … more to the story

Good morning, Netizens... The local news media is absolutely astir over the situation involving Sterling Financial Corporation. It all started late Wednesday when the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp and the Washington Department of Financial Institutions served them with a cease-and-desist order, and Chairman Harold Gilkey...