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Tight-Fisted Banks Stall Development

Publication Date: 3/18/2009
Author: Richard Korman, with Steven Setzer, Brad Fullmer, Melissa Leslie and Joe Florkowski
Format: HTML

To Todd Harris, trouble at his local bank is a sign of thin times for his building contracting company, J.C. Harris & Sons, which is based in Elgin, Ill., not far from Chicago. Harris keeps an account at Amcore Bank, a mid-sized regional bank, and has even built its branch buildings. But like banks around the world, Amcore reported a loss for 2008: $97.5 million. William McManaman, Amcore’s CEO, told investors that in the last quarter of 2008, builders and developers accounted for the majority of the bank’s new bad loans. So for now, Amcore, like other banks, is about as likely to make new loans for non-owner-occupied building developments as Bernie Madoff is to receive birthday cards from his former clients.

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