Biz week

City Bank seized

City Bank was shuttered by state regulators last week after a long and suffocating battle with bad real estate loans. After a last-gasp attempt to recapitalize, the troubled bank was seized by regulators late Friday afternoon. It was immediately sold to Oak Harbor-based Whidbey Island Bank. All customer accounts, loans and other bank business will be acquired by Whidbey Island Bank. Depositors will see no service interruption, according to the Washington state Department of Financial Institutions. It was the first Snohomish County bank to be seized by the government since the economy soured in 2008, but Washington state’s eighth bank closure in the last year. City Bank, like many others in the Northwest and around the country, was hit hard by the downfall of the real estate industry.

Bank land sale: Cascade Financial Corp. plans to sell almost 400 parcels of land in King and Snohomish counties, part of a strategy to reduce its exposure to bad real estate deals, officials said Wednesday. The bank acquired the land from former borrowers of two large residential real estate loans. The sales will reduce Cascade Bank’s real-estate portfolio by about a third, bank president Carol Nelson said. A total of 397 lots will be sold to buyers Nelson declined to name at this point. The deal is expected to close later this year. Cascade expects to set aside from $25 million to $27 million for loan losses in the first quarter of 2010.

Port governance: The Port of Edmonds has made better decisions since 2001, when it grew to five commissioners from three. That was the advice from Bruce Faires, an Edmonds port commissioner, last week at a Port of Everett hearing to consider making similar changes to its governing board. It will hold another hearing in Mukilteo next month.

— Mike Benbow, Herald writer