A Kansas Bank Nears Bankruptcy…Are Regulators to Blame?

July 22nd, 2009
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Contributed by: Teri Buhl
As a bank in Olathe, Kansas teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, former executives are blaming regulators that turned a blind eye even when the bank’s own employees proactively approached the Kansas Region Office of Thrift Supervision to report the alleged misconduct. Security Savings Bank, the federally-chartered savings bank in question, is headed by prominent real estate developer and home builder Donald H. Bell Jr., who publicly asserts that “God had directed him” to buy a small Kansas bank in order to further God’s purpose.

Today, the bank is posting million dollar quarterly losses and recently faced a securities fraud suit brought by investors in the bank’s holding company. And with former employees coming forward with allegations that Bell threatened staff members, disregarded corporate governance requirements, and routinely used the bank for his own personal gain, the public is beginning to wonder if regulators are to blame.

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