Feds shut down Guaranty Bank

First-Citizens Bank to continue operating a handful of branches

Jennifer Provancher has been promoted to president of Wauwatosa-based The Equitable Bank
Jennifer Provancher has been promoted to president of Wauwatosa-based The Equitable Bank

Glendale-based Guaranty Bank has failed. It has been acquired by Raleigh, N.C.-based First-Citizens Bank & Trust Co. and most of its branches will be closed.

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The federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency today shut down Guaranty and appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as receiver. In order to protect Guaranty depositors, the FDIC arranged for First-Citizens to assume all of Guaranty’s deposits and purchase $829.6 million of its assets. The FDIC will continue to insure all deposits.

Guaranty had 119 branches in five states, just 12 of which will remain open. The 12 brick-and-mortar branches, which will reopen as First-Citizens Bank branches, include four Milwaukee branches, as well as one each in Brown Deer, Brookfield, Glendale, Menomonee Falls, Mount Pleasant and West Bend. The other two are in Blaine, Minnesota and Matteson, Illinois.

The other 107 were located in retail outlets such as grocery stores, and will not reopen. In Wisconsin, 38 branches located in Pick ’n Save, Walmart, Copps, Piggly Wiggly, Sendik’s, Galst Food, Pacific Produce and Sentry stores, mostly in southeastern Wisconsin, will be shuttered. The full list is available at fdic.gov/guaranty-best-branches.

Customers of Guaranty Bank will be able to access their money this weekend by writing checks and using ATM or debit cards. Checks drawn on the bank will still be processed, and loan customers should continue to make payments. Those whose branches have closed will have online and mobile banking access, but ATMs will not function at those branches.

At the end of the first quarter, Guaranty Bank had about $1 billion in total assets and $1 billion in total deposits.

This is the fifth bank the FDIC has closed this year nationwide. The most recent Wisconsin closure was in March 2016, when the FDIC closed North Milwaukee State Bank.

Banking companies have had to adjust their business models in recent years as more customers shift their banking activity online. As many of them shrink their brick-and-mortar footprints, grocery store branches are often the first to go, in favor of smaller, high-tech freestanding branches staffed with personal bankers.

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.