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News Release

New Jersey Department of
Banking and Insurance


Commissioner Steven M. Goldman

For Immediate Release:
July 31, 2009

For Further Information:
Ed Rogan or Marshall McKnight (609) 292-5064


Crown Bank Assumes All Deposits of First BankAmericano

Elizabeth – First BankAmericano, based in Elizabeth, N.J., was closed today by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (NJDOBI), which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver. To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Brick-based Crown Bank, to assume all of the assets, deposits, and liabilities of First BankAmericano.

The failed bank had six offices in New Jersey. The branches will reopen on Saturday as branches of Crown Bank. Depositors of First BankAmericano will automatically become depositors of Crown Bank and will be unaffected.

NJDOBI partnered with the FDIC to issue parallel cease and desist orders in August 2007 and again in June of this year due to several safety and soundness issues. NJDOBI and the FDIC monitored the bank closely and continued to work with the institution. The FDIC order is at: www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/enforcement/2009-06-15.pdf.

 “First BankAmericano’s management and board worked closely with regulators and tried to address issues raised through two separate cease and desist orders,” said NJDOBI Commissioner Neil N. Jasey. “Unfortunately, the bank’s poor asset quality, despite attempted and well coordinated corrective actions, made today’s action necessary to protect consumers.”

Deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC, and there is no need for customers to change their banking relationship to retain their deposit insurance coverage. Customers of both banks can continue to use their existing branches until Crown Bank can fully integrate the deposit records of First BankAmericano.

New Jersey Banking Director Terry McEwen stated, “The Department’s top priority remains protecting the deposits of all of our citizens. Customers of First BankAmericano will experience a smooth and seamless transition. As a reminder, all individual accounts are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000.”

Over the weekend, depositors of First BankAmericano can access their money by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards. Checks drawn on the bank will continue to be processed. Loan customers should continue to make their payments as usual.

Customers who have questions about today's transaction can call the FDIC toll-free at 1-866-954-9532. The phone number will be operational this evening until 9 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time (EDT); on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., EDT; on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., EDT; and thereafter from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Customers who would like more information about today's transaction can also visit the FDIC's Web site at www.fdic.gov, or call NJDOBI at 1-800-446-7467, or online at www.njdobi.org.


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