Metropolitan National Bank Finds a Savior as Dallas Investment Fund Agrees to Purchase

by Gwen Moritz  on Friday, Jul. 5, 2013 4:00 pm  

Lunsford Bridges will continue as CEO of Metropolitan National Bank of Little Rock after its planned sale later this summer.

Metropolitan has been operating under a regulatory order from the OCC since May 2008, and bringing its capital ratios up to the required level — 8 percent Tier 1 capital and 12 percent risk-based capital — is "the final step in achieving full compliance" with the order, Bridges said in the press release. Bridges said it was premature to release results for the second quarter that ended Sunday; the bank's capital ratios stood at 6.3 percent and 10.85 percent as of March 31, up from 6.18 percent and 9.57 percent a year earlier.

Metropolitan National Bank had net income of $662,000 in the first quarter and $761,000 in the fourth quarter of 2012 — the first consecutive quarterly profits for the bank since the first two quarters of 2008.

The bank has not had a profitable year since 2008 and lost almost $99 million in 2009-12, including a loss of $80 million in 2009 alone.

Bridges told Arkansas Business that Metropolitan managers were introduced to the Ford fund by its financial consultants, Keefe Bruyette & Woods. The deal has been in the works for three or four months, he said, but he also said that the death five months ago of Doyle Rogers, a legendary real estate developer, "had no effect on this."



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