First Federal Savings and Loans Assoc. takes over Cape Fear Bank

Reported by Justin West - email
Posted by Peter Smelser - email
Updated by Laura Sinacori - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Cape Fear Bank has officially been taken over by First Federal Savings and Loan Associations.

Despite the quick transition, things are running smoothly and customers are walking and out of the newly named First Federal Savings and Loan as if nothing happened.

First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Charleston, SC has assumed all of the Cape Fear Bank's $403 million in deposits and buy about $468 million of the bank's $492 million in assets.

"We could not have had a stronger bank to come into this market than first federal," said President & CEO of The North Carolina Bankers Association Thad Woodard.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was appointed receiver of Cape Fear Bank Friday and will retain the remaining assets to sell later.

First Federal executives and members of the FDIC worked through the weekend to make sure the new bank has a fresh start.

"Right now it does require long hours, but we are equal to the task," said Linda Beavers of the FDIC. "We have been doing this for a while and we know what has to be done and we have a capable team on site to make sure it gets done right."

Over the weekend, customers of Cape Fear Bank could access their money by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards. Checks drawn on the bank will continue to be processed and loan customers should continue to make payments as usual.

"When they walk in the door they're going to find the same great folks that served them last week," said Thomas Hood the President of First Financial Holdings Inc.

Employees said they didn't have as many customer questions or problems as they had anticipated.

"Nobody has ever lost a penny of insured funds that are at a federal deposit insurance cooperation, which insures this bank and every bank in North Carolina," said President & CEO of The North Carolina Bankers Association Thad Woodard.

Customers should be able to access all of their funds with no problems.  Those who have problems or have questions about the closure can call the FDIC toll-free at 1-866-806-6128. The FDIC will take calls until 9:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6:00 p.m.

Interested parties can also visit the FDIC's Web site at

The Wilmington-based bank is the 22nd federally insured institution to fail this year.

The last North Carolina-based bank to fail was Crown National Bank of Charlotte, NC in May of 1993.

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