Friday, June 11, 2010

Washington First bank closed, sold to Pasadena firm

Friday, June 11, 2010, 5:07pm PDT | Modified: Friday, June 11, 2010, 5:15pm

Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) - by Kirsten Grind

Washington First International Bank, a Seattle-based institution with a predominantly Asian customer base, was closed by government regulators Friday, marking the state’s 10th community bank failure in a year and a half.

East West Bank, a Pasadena, Calif.-based institution also targeting Asian customers, scooped up Washington First International’s $605 million in assets, including its four branches across the Seattle area.

Founded in 1990, Washington First suffered from a buildup of commercial real estate loans that went bad during the economic downturn. It was also involved with Bellevue-based Centurion Financial, which brokered dozens of now-failed real estate deals across Washington.