Superior Bank fails, under new ownership

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Customers of a failed Birmingham-based bank with branches in Pelham, Hoover and Chelsea likely will see few changes as a result of the bank’s acquisition by a Texas-based institution.

Superior Bank, N.A., a subsidiary of the Houston-based Community Bancorp, assumed ownership of the former Birmingham-based Superior Bancorp after the Birmingham bank failed and was seized by the U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision on April 15.

Superior Bank has branches off Shelby County 52 in Pelham, off Chelsea Point Drive and off Old Highway 280 in Hoover.

A bank usually fails when it is “unable to meet its obligations to depositors and others,” according to information from the Federal Deposit Insurance Commission. After the Office of Thrift Supervision closed Superior Bancorp, the FDIC briefly received ownership of the institution before it transferred ownership to Superior Bank, N.A. Customer deposits at the bank are still insured up to FDIC limits.

Superior Bancorp recorded a net after-tax loss of $138 million in the third quarter of 2010, which was the last time the company filed a financial statement.

Because Superior Bank, N.A. has taken over Superior Bank, all three Shelby County branches will remain open.

“There is no need for customers to change their banking relationship in order to retain their deposit insurance coverage up to applicable limits,” read an FDIC release.

Superior Bank employees at the local branches will keep their jobs and become employees of Superior Bank, N.A., according to a Community Bancorp release.

Though the bank’s ownership changed hands, Superior Bank customers can still use their same checks, account numbers, ATM cards and locations, and can contact the bank with the same phone numbers. Customers can also continue to use the same online services and websites, according to the Community Bancorp release.

“You will be notified well in advance of improvements, additional conveniences and any other potential changes as they become available,” read the release.

At the end of 2010, Superior Bank had about $3 billion in total assets and about $2.7 billion in total deposits at its 73 branches. Superior Bank, N.A. assumed all the deposits of the failed bank, and purchased “essentially all of the assets,” the FDIC release read.

After Superior Bank, N.A. purchased the $3 billion in assets, it entered into a loss-share agreement with the FDIC on $1.84 billion of the assets.

Through the loss-share agreement, the FDIC will reimburse Superior Bank, N.A. for 80 percent of the losses on the $1.84 billion covered by the agreement, said FDIC spokesman Greg Hernandez.