Sterling suffers big losses

Sterling Savings Bank reports losses of $855 million in 2009 and is suing bad borrowers.

Share this article!

Like other Northwest banks, Sterling Savings Bank has been hard in recent years. The bank posted a loss of $855 million in 2009, its second consecutive year of nine-digit losses.

The bank is also suing borrowers who still haven’t paid, filing 15 lawsuits since 2008.

…Sterling has been bruised by heavy involvement in lending to residential developers and builders. The bank’s newly issued financials also reveals the surprising extent to which the Portland area and Southwest Washington are significant problem areas for the bank.

Sterling’s nonperforming assets ballooned more than 16 percent in its fourth quarter to finish 2009 at $952 million. That’s more than 8.5 percent of Sterling’s total assets, a huge number and one that raises anew questions about Sterling’s long-term survival.

Read the full story at

{biztweet}Sterling Savings Bank loss{/biztweet}

Latest from Oregon Business Team