C.H. Wyatt Jr. won't go so far as to say that Citizens Bank of
Edmond has crossed the threshold from near-disaster back into
comfort, but in less than a year since he took over the bank is much
"We're very pleased with the progress that we've made up to this
point and we're optimistic about the future," Wyatt said.
"Hopefully, we'll continue to strengthen the relationships in our
leadership position in the Edmond area.
"We're not where we want to be, but we're headed in the right
direction. I think we've reversed the tide that the bank was
traveling over the last two years. ... We've made progress."
Earlier this year the U.S. Federal Reserve took action against
the bank's holding company, Citizens Bancshares Inc., to improve its
credit risk and loan portfolio management. At the time, the federal
enforcement order did not specify the cause of the problem and
company officials provided only prepared statements that said the
problem was driven by a period of robust development followed by an
economic reversal that hurt residential and commercial real estate
The bank had seemingly crossed the event horizon of the financial
industry, a point of no return, the so-called 100-percent Texas
ratio. That number provides a measure of a bank's credit strength,
calculated by dividing the value of the lender's nonperforming
assets - the nonperforming loans and other real estate owned - by
the sum of its tangible common equity capital and loan loss
reserves. Industry experts say that a bank's likelihood of failure
increases as that ratio approaches one-to-one, or 100 percent.
Citizens Bank ended 2009 with a Texas ratio of about 102 percent.
By the end of September it was down to about 63 percent.
"The bank's board of directors took swift and immediate action to
be responsive to the needs of the bank," Wyatt said. "It's been a
Early this year, Chief Executive Mark Lisle stepped down and
Wyatt took over. Wyatt and Chief Financial Officer Jill Castilla had
been brought on board at the end of 2009, as well as Chief Credit
Officer Rick Harper.
Before moving to Edmond, Castilla had served on the senior
management team at Grand Rapids State Bank in Grand Rapids, Minn.
For nine years, she managed numerous departments at the Federal
Reserve Bank of Kansas City in both the Oklahoma City and Kansas
City offices. And Wyatt has been in the banking industry for 36
years. Before Edmond, he served as chief executive and director of
InterBank in Western Oklahoma for 18 years. …