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Horizon Bank fails, branches taken over by Washington Federal

MARYSVILLE — Customers of the Marysville branch of Horizon Bank, located at 3617 88th St. NE, found themselves banking with Washington Federal Jan. 9.

Washington state regulators seized the 18 branches of the Bellingham-based Horizon Bank Jan. 8, but Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation spokesman David Barr reported that the Seattle-based Washington Federal Savings and Loan Association has taken over all 18 Horizon Bank branches in what he deemed "a seamless transition."

Washington Federal announced Jan. 8 its acquisition of certain assets and liabilities, including most of the loans and deposits, of Horizon Bank. As of Sept. 30, 2009, Horizon Bank reported total assets of $1.3 billion and total deposits of $1.2 billion. The closure will cost the FDIC approximately $539.1 million.

The Horizon Bank branches reopened Jan. 9 during their normal business hours as branches of Washington Federal. The FDIC assured Horizon Bank customers that they could still access their money through Washington Federal by writing checks or using ATMs or debit cards, since checks will continue to be processed and borrowers should continue to make their usual mortgage and loan payments.

Starting Jan. 11, bank customers with Internet access are able to access the FDIC "Is My Account Fully Insured?" Web site at https://www2.fdic.gov/drrip/afi/index.asp and the Washington Federal Web site at www.washingtonfederal.com features a welcome message to Horizon Bank customers from Roy Whitehead, the chair, president and chief executive of Washington Federal.

"I also want to emphasize that your money is safe with us," Whitehead wrote in his online message. "Not only do your funds remain insured in full accordance with FDIC guidelines, you have the added security of banking with Washington Federal, considered one of the strongest and best-capitalized banks in the nation. Our capital ratio, which the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) considers a key measure of financial stability, is more than twice the level to be considered well-capitalized."

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