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It's not The Bank of Oswego anymore

Seattle-based HomeStreet completes it's acquisition of the Lake Oswego financial institution


MASONSeattle-based HomeStreet Inc. announced Friday morning that it has completed the purchase of The Bank of Oswego and that its two branches in Lake Oswego — on A Avenue downtown and on Mercantile Drive in Lake Grove — are now operating under the HomeStreet banner.

“We are happy to welcome the customers and employees of the Lake Oswego branches to HomeStreet,” HomeStreet President and CEO Mark K. Mason said in a press release. “We look forward to the growth opportunities from the acquisition as a result of the Portland-Vancouver area’s strong employment and population growth.”

As of July 31, The Bank of Oswego's loans and other assets totaled $41.5 million and deposits totaled $46.9 million. As part of the transaction announced Friday, HomeStreet did not assume any liability relating to any ongoing litigation involving former CEO Dan Heine, former CFO Diana Yates or any other former officer or director of the community bank.

Heine, who founded The Bank of Oswego in 2004, and Yates are awaiting trial in November on more than two dozen criminal charges, including conspiracy to commit bank fraud and making false bank entries.

ANDREWSEarlier this week, current Bank of Oswego President and CEO Stephen G. Andrews told The Review that the bank's board of directors had been "keen to pick a partner that would treat employees well and has a demonstrated history of immersing themselves into the fabric of the community in a similar fashion as The Bank of Oswego."

"I think the community will enjoy having HomeStreet Bank as a community partner," Andrews said. "Homestreet has agreed to honor all of our community philanthropic commitments for the year, and they enjoy a long history of supporting the community.

"The Bank of Oswego culture embodied a warm sense of community and endeavored to make our branches reflect a welcoming presence where customers felt like an invited guest," Andrews said. "I am confident our remaining staff will carry on this practice."

Andrews, who could not be reached for comment Friday morning, did not say whether he would be part of that remaining staff.

HEINEReached at his home in Florida, Heine said he is proud of “our community bank, which was uniquely created for Lake Oswego."

"The effort required to build a community bank is daunting under any circumstances, but to do so at a time when many start-up banks failed because of the terrible economic recession is remarkable," Heine told The Review. "This success could not have been possible without great community support and encouragement.

"The hallmarks of our success focused on developing relationships by offering truly personalized service, while becoming an integral part of the community and serving the many nonprofits and civic organizations," said Heine, who was named Community Leader of the Year in 2007 by the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce for his work with a variety of local groups, including the Lakewood Center for the Arts and the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation's Invest in Success program. "It is with heartfelt gratitude that I say 'Thank you, Lake Oswego, for your support and friendship.'”

Watch for more coverage of HomeStreet's takeover of The Bank of Oswego online at lakeoswegoreview.com and in the pages of The Review.