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RiverBank co-founder Utt resigns

Steve Utt, who was one of the co-founders of Spokane-based RiverBank, has resigned from the company.

RiverBank CEO Chuck Brooks said Utt resigned as executive vice president and chief credit officer.

Brooks did not elaborate on Utt’s reason for departing. He said Utt did not sign a non-compete clause, leaving him able to work for another bank if he chose.

“We have a lot of respect for Steve,” Brooks said.

Utt helped found the commercial bank in 2006 with Duane Brandenburg. Its downtown offices are at 202 E. Spokane Falls Blvd.

It has $130 million in assets and a staff of 40, Brooks said.

Utt began his 25-year banking career at Farmers & Merchants Bank and also worked at AmericanWest Bank.

Brooks said the company will appoint John W. Roewe as senior vice president and chief credit officer, subject to approval by regulators. He has been with the bank as its credit administrator.

RiverBank has undergone several management shake-ups and business reforms after federal regulators insisted the bank raise capital and undertake “safe and sound” banking practices.

Bank officials in September 2011 acknowledged they entered into regulatory agreements with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Washington state Department of Financial Institutions, as part of efforts to strengthen the bottom line.

Brooks said the bank continues to focus on building reserves and clearing its books of bad commercial loans.

In particular, the bank is now the owner of the top two floors of the Ridpath Hotel, the empty downtown location with multiple owners and a long string of loan defaults.

Brooks said the bank has no immediate offer from someone looking to acquire its Ridpath holdings. “There’s a lot of tire-kicking” by people looking at the remains of the Ridpath buildings, he said.