Regulators lift restrictions on Riverview Bank

Vancouver-based bank says fiscal health strong

By Gordon Oliver, Columbian Business Editor

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Riverview Community Bank and its parent Riverview Bancorp delivered good news to investors and customers on Tuesday: the bank is no longer subject to regulatory restrictions by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency that have been in place since January, 2012.

The easing of its regulatory burden in one sense means nothing more than “business as usual,” says Riverview President and Chief Operating Officer Ron Wysaske. Yet, it sends a powerful statement that Riverview, which, like many banks, struggled during and after the Great Recession, is in the good graces of banking regulators and on solid financial footing following six consecutive profitable quarters, Wysaske said.

“Our credit procedures, practices and systems are better than they have ever been,” he said. And, he added, “we are beyond well-capitalized.”

For the first three quarters of the current fiscal year, Riverview has reported $2.8 million in net income, compared with $1 million in the same three-quarter period one year earlier. Earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter, ending March 31, and year-end financial results will not be released until May.

Riverview’s journey through the recession and post-recession doldrums was made more challenging by a change in banking oversight by federal regulators. Riverview, which is chartered as a thrift, had been under the regulatory review of the Office of Thrift Supervision. When that office was absorbed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or OCC, as part of the Dodd-Frank banking reforms, Riverview fell under the OCC’s jurisdiction. Riverview had been subject to a regulatory “memorandum of understanding” under its previous regulators, and that transitioned into the formal agreement under OCC.

The additional restrictions were a “kind of a welcome from the OCC,” Wysaske said. The oversight was primarily focused on a review of Riverview’s loans.

Riverview officials take particular pride in having weathered the nation’s financial crisis without benefit of any government loans or financial support.

“The thing that’s important here is we did it without any government financial assistance,” said Kim Capeloto, Riverview’s executive vice president. “Others did it with assistance from taxpayers. This company decided to do it the old-fashioned way. That meant we had to work really hard.”

Riverview, the only bank based in Clark County, is in the midst of a campaign to make $200 million in new loan commitments to the communities it serves, and is close to meeting that goal this spring, Wysaske said. It operates 18 branches, including thirteen in the Portland-Vancouver area, and three lending centers, with some $805 million in assets.

“We’re feeling good here,” Wysaske said. “Not just about the bank. We feel good about the local economy. We’re on an upswing.”

Editor’s note: This story was changed to correct the name of Kim Capeloto.