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Kitsap Bank will cover all of Westsound's deposits

Kitsap Bank will assume all of the deposits and bank operations of Westsound Bank of Bremerton at 9 a.m. May 11. At that time, nine Westsound locations will open as branches of Kitsap Bank, and will conduct business as usual.

“Kitsap Bank will assume all deposits of Westsound Bank regardless of the amount,” Kitsap Bank VP Shannon Childs said Saturday morning. “So even if deposits exceed the $250,000 insured limit they are protected.”

A public announcement about the action was due to occur Saturday at noon.

Kitsap Bank President James Carmichael said that “no one in our communities will be negatively impacted and none of Westsound’s depositors are in jeopardy.”

As of the close of business Friday, the FDIC became the receiver of Westsound Bank’s deposits, after the State of Washington Department of Financial Institutions declared Westsound closed, citing inadequate capital and liquidity. The FDIC moved quickly to protect all non-brokered depositors through a purchase and assumption agreement with Kitsap Bank.

With this transaction, Kitsap Bank’s assets, currently in excess of $820 million, will climb to over $1 billion. It puts the bank into the top 600 of banks in the nation in terms of size, and increases its market share to 23 percent in Kitsap County, and 17 percent on the Kitsap/Olympic Peninsula.

Until systems can be converted to Kitsap Bank, Westsound customers will continue to do business as usual at one their current branches. The decision whether to close Westsound Bank branches in proximity to Kitsap Bank locations as well as the disposition of any duplicated employees are yet to be determined, according to Childs.

She said the bank has 90 days to make the determination about office closures and/or layoffs, and that "we will keep as many employees as we can."

“This is a difficult time for our community, as we cope with the loss of a local financial institution,” Carmichael said. “But I want to assure everyone that Kitsap Bank’s and Westsound’s dedicated teams of banking professionals will work diligently to make this a smooth transition for our new customers. As we complete the conversion in a few months, our Westsound customers will enjoy enhanced banking services, with the added convenience of a larger network of locations."

Westsound does not have ATMs at its branches. Customers, however, can immediately use their debit cards to withdraw cash at Kitsap Bank ATMs without a transaction fee, according to Childs. Westsound Bank customers will not be able to conduct online banking transactions throughout the weekend, aside from the ability to view their accounts.

Customers seeking immediate information may visit www.kitsapbank.com or www.fdic.gov for more details, or call Kitsap Bank’s Customer Service Center Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (360) 876-3644 or (800) 283-5537.

The FDIC toll-free information line for this bank closure is (800) 830-4735.

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