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Ohio’s National City bank hit by crisis

Ashley Milne-Tyte Apr 21, 2008
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Ohio’s National City bank hit by crisis

Ashley Milne-Tyte Apr 21, 2008
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TEXT OF STORY

KAI RYSSDAL: About those banks I mentioned, it’s not just the giants like Citigroup and Washington Mutual that’re having trouble. Ohio-based National City said today, it’s going to have to raise $7 billion in new capital. It’s not like National’s some small regional player. It’s the tenth largest bank in the country, but today’s news is just one more indicator that the credit crunch isn’t done with us yet. National’s going to get its money from private equity firms and hedge funds, which know a buying opportunity when they see it.

Ashley Milne-Tyte explains how the mortgage crisis is moving to Main Street.


ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: Analysts say there’s plenty to love about National City, despite the $171 million loss it posted today. Bart Narter, with consulting firm Celent, says take retail banking or wholesale lending for instance, they’re doing just fine. The mortgage business on the other hand . . .

BART NARTER: That is dragging down the results of the entire bank. These private investors are seeing that there is value to the other pieces of the bank and they’re picking up on that value and hope to generate superior returns because of it.

He says this isn’t the start of a domino effect of smaller regional banks seeking bailouts. He says National City, a super-regional out of Cleveland, is in trouble because of its exposure to bad mortgages. Many smaller banks, he says, are far less exposed to the mortgage business. Bert Ely is a banking consultant and Ohio native. He says today’s announcement isn’t great news for shareholders, but . . .

BERT ELY: My assumption is that the board of directors of National City concluded that as low as this price is, it’s still a better deal for the company stockholders than if the bank was sold today.

He says he’s pretty impressed the bank has managed to raise as much as $7 billion.

ELY: It’s a testament to the bank’s going-forward strength as a banking business, and by extension to the US banking industry in general.

Which he says has been dragged down too much by the problems of investment banks and mortgage companies.

In New York, I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

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