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Finance director says Idaho’s banks faring better than other states’

Finance director says Idaho’s banks faring better than other states’

Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
July 9, 2010

The head of the Idaho Department of Finance said banks in Idaho have weathered a tough economic fiscal year better than in other states.  The department also reported record revenues of more than $11 million from financial industry members doing business in Idaho.  Of that money, $6.2 million will go into the state’s general fund.

“While Idaho has not been immune to the economic downturn, we are encouraged by new highs in the number of securities filings and registrations,” Gavin Gee, the director of the Idaho Department of Finance, said in a news release.  “Idaho remains an attractive market for many financial services firms.”

The finance department watches banks, credit unions, regulated lenders, and other financial institutions that do business in the state and works to prevent financial fraud.  No Idaho-based banks have failed in the past 12 months, with the last bank failure coming in April.  Gee said FDIC-backed banks are still a safe place to put your money, because deposits of up to $250,000 are insured.

Six Idaho banks are currently in formal regulatory actions with federal regulators.  Gee said that banks agree to take corrective steps, like reducing problematic loans or increasing capital, to shore up the bank’s finances.  Nationally, 775 banks are taking similar steps.

“Over my 33 year career with the department almost all Idaho banks that have been subject to similar actions were successful in addressing the issues in the agreements and being restored to a healthy condition,” Gee said.

The finance department also reported that the potential impact of their financial fraud investigations exceeded $328 million, which is higher than the $325 million record set in the previous fiscal year.  The department’s enforcement actions helped Idaho residents recover more than $10 million in refunds on their investments.

Read the full news release about the Idaho Department of Finance’s last fiscal year at its website. (pdf)

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