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NexTier no longer under federal oversight

September 10, 2013 News Extra

The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of Currency has lifted its oversight agreement with NexTier Bank.

“The lifting of the formal agreement reflects the unwavering focus and multiyear effort ... to address and correct the issues identified by the OCC,” said NexTier CEO Donald Shamey in a news release.

The OCC placed NexTier under the agreement in June 2010.

To comply with the agreement, the bank lowered its credit risk, reduced levels of criticized assets and implemented a plan to generate more profits.

Shamey said that many of the problems the OCC found at the bank came from its Arizona commercial real estate investments. While those investments often produced a large volume of loans, many of those loans were not repaid during the Great Recession.

In 2010, a merger between NexTier and Northwest Savings Bank of Warren, Pa., fell apart because of unspecified deficiencies found by regulators with Northwest.

In 2011, the Snyder Group of Kittanning became a majority shareholder in the bank, which allowed it to remain independent.

Mark Snyder, a representative for the Snyder Group and chairman of NexTier Inc., praised the work of Shamey and the rest of the bank’s executives.

“This executive team has made significant strides in improving the bank’s performance. Don has been instrumental in leading the team to successfully meet the requirements of the OCC,” Snyder said in the release.

NexTier has $500 million in assets and has 15 offices in Butler, Allegheny and Armstrong counties.