Stewart talks banking systems

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, August 20, 2009

Troy University’s finance professor Robert Earl Stewart isn’t an expert on Colonial Bank.

But, he does know a thing or two about banking.

“I’m not an authority on Colonial Bank,” Stewart told the Troy Exchange Club members gathered at the American Legion Thursday afternoon. “I can only talk in generalities about Colonial Bank.”

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In light of Colonial Bank’s recent failure last week, Stewart was asked to speak on banking in America and generally about Colonial’s buy out.

“From what I read, banking as a whole is in good shape,” Stewart said.

And, even for Colonial customers, Stewart said the bank’s customers shouldn’t see much change.

“Customers can still walk in Colonial and still write checks,” Steward said. “People with Colonial checks will still write them and honor them until (BB&T) sends them some more.”

But, Stewart said customers with stock in Colonial Bank have lost it all.

“What happened last Friday didn’t just happen Friday. It’s been going for two to three years,” Stewart said.

Stewart said bank’s failures come usually when loan payments are not met.

“A bank has never made a bad loan. It goes bad when someone can’t pay them back,” Stewart said. “When loans get got impaired at Colonial, they had to write down their loans. Capital got impaired to the point it went down below regulatory required amount.”