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Banking and Finance

KeyBank says it has provided more than $2 billion in capital to qualified women-owned businesses nationwide through its Key4Women program, surpassing its 2007 pledge to lend these funds to women-owned firms by 2012. Continuing its lending momentum, Key recommits and will lend another $3 billion to qualified WOBs by the year 2012, saying that will also be important to our country’s economic recovery.

This is the second time that Key has exceeded its goals of lending to WOBs; in 2005, the bank pledged $1 billion to women-owned businesses and surpassed that number in 2007. read more »


The Challenge — So you’ve done everything you can as a small business owner to reverse the negative cash flows, such as extending the terms on your payables and accelerating your receivables. You’ve downsized your fixed costs and other expenses and increased marketing and staff production. You even raised prices where you could, but your business is still “underwater.” You do not have any asset sale/leaseback opportunities as a source of cash. read more »


The familiar yellow-and-blue colors, the quirky WaMoola and “Whoo-Hoo” posters — and other remnants of Washington Mutual’s brand — will disappear out of the local Washington Mutual branches by this June. New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co., which bought the assets of WaMu last September, is in the process of rebranding the old WaMu branches and completing the transition to Chase.

Cindy Doty, Chase division executive for retail banking who overseas Western Washington, says the Chase logo will replace the WaMu one by June 1, but customers will be able to continue using their current account numbers, checks and debit cards, as well as have the same online, phone and ATM access. “It will be a smooth transition,” she said. “It will be easy for customers.” read more »


During difficult times in the financial markets, it can be hard to stay committed to investing. After all, if many of your investments have lost value, you might be tempted to just put your money under your mattress. But that’s not really a productive use of your funds, and it almost certainly won’t help you achieve your objectives. read more »


Washington Federal, Inc., parent company of Washington Federal Savings, has announced earnings of $8,410,000 or $.10 per diluted share for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, compared to $35,452,000 or $.40 per diluted share for the same period a year ago. Earnings decreased by 76 percent primarily as a result of higher credit costs. The provision for loan losses was $54 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, a $44.5 million increase over the $9.5 million provided for the same quarter one year ago. read more »


Wells Fargo & Company said it expects to report record net income of approximately $3 billion for first quarter 2009, or approximately $0.55 per common share after preferred dividends, including $372 million in dividends paid to U.S. taxpayers on the U.S. Treasury’s Capital Purchase Program investment. The company’s final financial report, filed at the end of April was not available at press time.

“Our business momentum is strong, and we expect our operating margins to remain at the top of our peer group,” said Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf. read more »


A depressed job market, the growing number of Americans without health insurance, ballooning college costs, the increased availability of gambling and the growing use of credit for routine purchases are helping push credit card balances to the breaking point. The result, according to a panel of experts who met recently, could result in the next major banking crisis.

“The scale of this crisis underscores the urgency of our work to assist borrowers buried in personal debt, said Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna. read more »


Bremerton-based Westsound Bank will display the most recent series of The Faces of Bremerton between April 15 and May 20 in its main branch lobby at 6th and Pacific.

The Faces of Bremerton photography project began in 2006 when Glen and Debra Davis, owners of Legendary Portraits in Manette, decided to recognize and celebrate a select group of the people who have contributed to and supported Bremerton. Phase I of the project was featured in Westsound Bank’s branch lobby at 190 Pacific Avenue in 2006 . This recent phase is a continuation of the project. read more »


Bremerton-based Westsound Bank, the operating subsidiary of WSB Financial Group, has announced the promotion of Sean Spencer to vice president and commercial loan officer.

Spencer, a 33-year resident of Kitsap County who currently resides in Port Orchard with his wife, Angela, their young daughter, Eva, and soon-to-arrive son, has been a commercial loan officer with Westsound Bank since June 2005. read more »

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