Gov. vouches for state banks

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By Roger Snodgrass

Bill Enloe, chairman and CEO of Los Alamos National Bank, said this morning that he thought honesty was the best policy when talking about the banking situation in New Mexico these days.

He was responding to a question about Gov. Bill Richardson’s press conference Thursday, and called to reassure New Mexicans that the state banking system is sound.

“We’re all different,” Enloe said, “although we’re probably all seeing higher past dues, more non-accrual and more charge-offs.”

He added, “We are exceptionally fortunate to be where we are. Our problems are nothing compared to many areas, in fact most areas in the country.”

Earlier this month federal regulators took over the failing IndyMac Bank — the second largest financial institution to fail in U.S. history. The California-based savings and loan was one of the nation's largest home loan lenders, including riskier mortgages.

There are 37 state chartered banks in New Mexico with $9 billion in assets and deposits. They are licensed and regulated by the Financial Institutions Division in the Regulation and Licensing Department, the Associated Press reported.

“Our banks are well managed and well capitalized,” said William Verant, director of the division during the press conference.

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