Suffolk Bancorp No Longer Under Restrictions

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Suffolk Bancorp, the company that owns Suffolk County National Bank, announced last week that it is no longer under the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s regulation. The termination of the agreement between the two means the bank is not subject to the individual minimum capital ratios that the OCC established for it back in October 2010.

Now, the bank is considered “well capitalized,” with a Tier 1 leveration ratio of 9.77 percent, a Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 16.28 percent and a total risk-based capital ratio of 17.53 percent, exceeding the minimum regulatory requirements, according to a press release.

President and CEO of Suffolk Bancorp Howard Bluver said he was “gratified” that the OCC recognized the bank’s efforts to get back on track.

“When I arrived at the company in 2012, the two most important short-term priorities were to build a premier senior management team and clean up our balance sheet,” he said. “We are now in a position to leverage our exceptional core deposit franchise and focus on future growth and financial performance.”

The bank faced being delisted by the NASDAQ stock exchange in 2011 when it was late in filing reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission while it investigated a spike in bad loans that led to a nearly $13 million first quarter loss.

The bank has said that it did not file the reports on time because it was investigating why it apparently miscalculated allowances for bad loans and was forced to make a $29.7 million contribution to loan loss reserves to hedge against possible defaults. Suffolk met the deadline of the SEC for filing Suffolk’s year-end annual report in 2012.

“It should be emphasized that the risk management, compliance, internal control, and underwriting and credit administration policies and procedures we have built over the past year will continue to be a core part of our culture and operations,” Mr. Bluver said.

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