Cascade Financial’s quarterly loss narrows to $6.6 million

  • Tue Oct 26th, 2010 2:19pm

By Mike Benbow Herald Writer

EVERETT — Cascade Financial Corp. reported a $6.6 million quarterly loss Oct. 26, but said it improved its financial position significantly.

The loss for Everett-based Cascade, the parent company for Cascade Bank, amounts to 54 cents per share and compares with a loss during the previous quarter of $24.8 million, or $2.02 a share.

“Our team has remained focused on reducing nonperforming assets, strengthening our performing loan portfolio, growing our depositor base and increasing on-balance sheet liquidity,” said Carol Nelson, the bank’s president and CEO.

She said Cascade has reduced its nonperforming loans by 6.3 percent during the quarter, which ended Sept. 30. It had been at 6.6 percent.

And it has seen its real estate and construction portfolio — the source of most of its losses — drop by 54.2 percent during the past year.

Nelson noted that the bank announced last week that it had taken several steps to improve its balance sheet, including paying off federal advances early to reduce its interest expenses.

Cascade is under tightened scrutiny by federal regulators, who have ordered the bank’s directors to be more involved in day-to-day operations and to help develop a long-term plan to increase capital.

Part of that plan saw the bank sell off some of its securities for a profit, using the money to pay the fees for paying of its advance money early. It later repurchased securities that pay a higher rate of return, Nelson said.

She said the bank has also been aided by a nearly 30 percent increase in personal checking accounts in comparison to a year ago.

She said the bank has set aside about $8 million for loan losses, a 32 percent drop from the previous quarter, when $11.7 million was set aside.

Rob Discotell, the bank’s chief credit officer, said the total number of loans has dropped, largely because the bank has been working to reduce its real estate portfolio.

He noted that bank-owned real estate has been reduced from $40.5 million to $35 million.

Mike Benbow: 425-339-3459, benbow@heraldnet.com.