Whidbey bank promotes Wagner to CEO

Washington Banking Co. named Jack Wagner as president and chief executive of its subsidiary, Whidbey Island Bank. The bank operates 20 branches in Northwestern Washington. Michael Cann has been serving as president and CEO of both Whidbey Island Bank and Washington Banking Co. He will remain in that role for the Oak Harbor-based holding company. Wagner, who joined the bank in 1999, previously served as president of the Bank of Washington.

Verizon team wins $48 billion deal

Dealing a significant blow to Sprint Nextel, the government Thursday awarded the largest-ever federal telecommunications contract – a 10-year deal worth up to $48 billion – to its rivals Verizon, AT&T and Qwest Communications. The contract winners will split $525 million and then compete with each other for the business of dozens of federal agencies that need to enhance the quality and security of voice, video and data technologies.

Slow GDP growth predicted for 2007

After ending 2006 lethargically, the economy is expected to remain sluggish most of this year as businesses and consumers cope with fallout from the painful housing slump. The broadest barometer of the country’s economic health, gross domestic product, grew at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the final three months of last year, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. According to various projections, Gross Domestic Product growth will remain mediocre, hovering at around a pace of 2 percent to 2.5 percent in the first half of this year.

U.S. Steel buys pipeline maker

United States Steel Corp. plans to buy Lone Star Technologies Inc., a maker of welded pipe used in oil fields, in a $2.1 billion cash deal that will make it North America’s largest producer of tubular steel.

Late payments rise on home, auto loans

Late payments on certain auto and home equity loans climbed in the final quarter of last year, while delinquencies on credit card bills largely held steady, suggesting some consumers are feeling more squeezed than others. The American Bankers Association reported Thursday that late payments on home equity loans rose to 1.92 percent in the October-December period.

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(Peoples Bank)
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