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AmericanWest won’t seek federal funds after all

Thu., April 30, 2009, 11:43 a.m.

AmericanWest Bancorporation plans to withdraw an application for $57 million in federal assistance, the Spokane institution said Thursday in its first-quarter earnings release.

AmericanWest, which reported a net loss of $14.5 million, or 84 cents per share, said efforts to raise an equal amount of private-sector capital have fallen short, but added that discussions with investors continue.

Chief Executive Officer Patrick Rusnak said investors remain leery of banks, but added that AmericanWest’s deposit base, loyal customers and staff, and aggressive efforts to address problem loans will position the company well when capital markets improve.

The bank lost $4.6 million, or 26 cents per share, during the 2008 first quarter. That results excludes a writedown of goodwill.

Deposits were off only slightly from the end of the 2008 quarter, to $1.54 billion from $1.58 billion. Loans declined by 12 percent, to $1.52 billion, as AmericanWest reduced its exposure to commercial, industrial and construction lending.

Provisions for loan losses and charge-offs were $13.7 million and $17.7 million, respectively, increases from the end of the 2008 first quarter but down significantly from fourth-quarter 2008 levels.

Total assets as of March 31 were $1.8 billion compared with $2.1 billion a year ago.

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