First Oklahoma Trust Suspension Extended / for 12 Months

Article excerpt

The suspension of the certificate of authority to operate First Oklahoma Trust Co. was extended for 12 months Wednesday by the Oklahoma State Banking Board.

Landmark Land Development Corp. of Carmel, Calif., the new owner of the trust, had requested that the suspension be withdrawn and the certificate of authority remain in effect.

Landmark intends to reactivate the trust, Blaine Schwabe, an Oklahoma City attorney for the company, said.

The trust company has not been operating since the July 14 failure of First National Bank and Trust Co. of Oklahoma City. The trust and the bank were both owned by First Oklahoma Bancorporation.

The trust company was in conservatorship following the closing of the bank by Robert Empie, Oklahoma banking commissioner. Empie said in an order for the conservator that "the trust company will apparently be unable to withstand the liquidity demands which will be made upon it in the wake of the failure of its affiliates."

The bank itself was purchased by First Interstate Bancorp of Los Angeles and reopened as First Interstate Bank of Oklahoma NA.

FN Corp., a subsidiary of Landmark Land Development, merged with First Oklahoma Bancorporation in April and became the parent of First Oklahoma Trust Co.

At that time, the board notified the trust company it would postpone a hearing to cancel the certificate until new directors and officers could be installed. However on May 27, the board voted to suspend the certificate for 60 days to give the trust company time to report on its progress.

Schwabe said the trust company could not be reactivated until certain pending litigation against the institution is resolved.

He said Landmark does intend to reactivate the company but more time is necessary to "put out the fires" and eliminate problems at First Oklahoma Bancorporation Inc.

In a letter to Oklahoma Banking Commissioner Robert Empie, Schwabe said the possibility exists for Landmark to utilize the trust company in a positive way with many long-term effects in Oklahoma.

"Landmark is not presently in a position, however, to activate First Oklahoma Trust in a manner consistent with the standards of excellence demanded of other Landmark entities," Schwabe said in the letter. …