Medford-based PremierWest cuts losses in second quarter

PremierWest Bancorp narrowed its losses in the second quarter.

The Medford-based parent company of PremierWest Bank reported a net pre-tax loss (this phrase has been corrected) of $2.1 million, or 2 cents per share, for the quarter ending June 30, compared to the $28.6 million, or $1.15 per share, loss during the second quarter of 2009. The company had a $3.3 million loss during the first quarter.

"During the quarter, we continued to take very aggressive actions in assessing real estate collateral values," PremierWest Bank's President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Ford said in releasing the quarterly results. "We updated the majority of appraisals that were more than six months old on real estate collateral supporting non-performing loans. This was done to stay ahead of any prospective collateral value deterioration risk as much as possible."

He said the bank accelerated a mandated 5 percent annual write-down of real estate values as required by state banking regulators.

PremierWest's loans declined $27.3 million, or 2 percent, from March 31 to $1.1 billion. During the quarter $16 million worth of loans were paid off and another $8.6 million was charged and $2.7 million were foreclosed. The bank said borrowers were paying down loans faster than new loans are taken out.

Halfway through the year, deposits were $1.3 billion, down $48.4 million, or 4 percent, from the period ending March 31.

— Greg Stiles

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