Business
10:08 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Feds Close Citizens First Bank

Citizens First National Bank served customers in Chicago's western suburbs and the LaSalle area.  On Friday, November 2, the FDIC's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency closed the bank, including its branches in Aurora, Genoa, Huntley and Hampshire. It's the FDIC's policy not to give advance notice of a bank's closing. But last March they issued a "prompt corrective action" letter to the bank's parent company, Princeton National Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq: PNBC), one of the last formal actions regulators take before seizing a bank.

The FDIC says online service will continue at Citizens First.

Citizens First traces its origins to 1865. A report last April in Crain's Chicago Business says the bank "brags that it was one of just two lenders in Bureau County that the Roosevelt administration permitted to reopen on the first day following FDR's emergency bank closures during the most panicked days of the Depression in 1933. But now the Great Recession has imperiled the future of that bank, which has more than $1 billion in assets and an 18-branch network reaching into exurban Chicago."

Also according to Crain's:  The Treasury Department, which invested $25 million in Princeton National Bancorp as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, is expected to lose all of that investment.

All deposit accounts have been transferred to Heartland Bank and Trust Company, of Bloomington, IL.

Citizens is the 40th Chicago-area bank to fail since the beginning of 2009, when the recession started claiming local lenders. It's the eighth local lender to fail this year. 

See the FDIC's list of bank failures nationwide since 2000.

Citizens First National Bank was a corporate underwriter of Northern Public Radio stations WNIU and WNIJ.