Letter to the Editor

Local bank branches safe and sound

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

To the Editor:

North Salem State Bank (NSSB) and First National Bank (FNB) understand that consumers are concerned about recent news reports surrounding the banking industry. Specifically, IndyMac Bank F.S.B., based in California, was closed by the Office of Thrift Supervision on July 11, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) was named conservator.

"Could the same happen to my bank?" is on the minds of many bank customers.

NSSB and FNB are safe and sound. We are an entirely different institution than IndyMac. While we are community-based, traditional lenders, IndyMac was a West Coast-based, nationwide originator of nontraditional loans, including subprime mortgages.

Some of those loans do not even require proof or verification of income, which ultimately is not in the best interest of consumers.

By contrast, NSSB and FNB are committed to making sound, traditional loans that serve our customers well. We know that by helping our customers, we help the community our community.

In addition, NSSB and FNB are well-capitalized. We have ample reserves of capital. This capital acts as a buffer against potential economic downturns. In fact, right now the capital level among traditional banks like NSSB and FNB is at historic highs.

Consumers may rest assured that NSSB and FNB are insured by the FDIC. Backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, FDIC insurance covers up to: $100,000 per person, plus $200,000 per joint account (with a spouse, child or someone else), plus $250,000 for most retirement accounts, such as individual retirement accounts.

The FDIC was created in 1933, and during that history not one consumer has ever lost a penny of FDIC-insured funds.

As a common-sense lender, NSSB and FNB are committed to serving our customers, and our community, with care and integrity. Please contact us with any questions or concerns. Our doors are open and will remain that way.

Rod Lasley, president and CEO,

North Salem State Bank

Gary Neese, President and CEO,

First National Bank