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FTX owned an $11.5 million stake in a tiny rural financial institution in Washington state with simply 3 workers, chapter listening to reveals


Nov 24, 2022

Fields of Whitman County, WA composed next to Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX

The Palouse hills in Whitman County, Washington, the place FTX’s funding is positioned.Schooling Photos/Common Photos Group by way of Getty Photos; Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Name, Inc by way of Getty Photos

  • Farmington State Financial institution had 3 workers and was the Twenty sixth-smallest financial institution in America out of a complete 4,800.

  • Then FTX purchased an $11.5 million stake within the financial institution, it has emerged throughout FTX’s chapter case.

  • That stake was greater than twice the financial institution’s earlier web value.

FTX has come beneath extra scrutiny after it emerged that the collapsed crypto large owned an $11.5 million stake in certainly one of America’s smallest banks – greater than double the financial institution’s earlier web value – the New York Instances reported.

Farmington State Financial institution, which relies within the small city of Farmington within the rural farming area of Whitman County, Washington, was described as “no-frills” by native newspaper The Spokesman-Evaluate in 2010. Its then-president, John Widman, advised the newspaper that it had stopped making mortgage loans as a result of the paperwork was an excessive amount of effort.

Its single department had three workers till this 12 months, and did not supply on-line banking and even bank cards. It as an alternative specialised in agricultural loans to farmers.

FTX’s funding got here to mild throughout the crypto agency’s chapter case, and is elevating crimson flags about its monetary technique.

Ties between the farmers’ financial institution and the crypto trade started in March this 12 months, when FTX’s sister firm, Alameda Analysis, invested in Farmington’s father or mother firm, FBH. The acquisition was led by Ramnik Arora, certainly one of Sam Bankman-Fried‘s interior circle, who was typically answerable for a lot bigger offers.

On the time, it was the Twenty sixth-smallest financial institution in America out of 4,800. With a web value of $5.7 million, FTX’s stake was value greater than double the financial institution’s worth.

The city of Farmington has simply 146 residents, and is so small that Google Road View does not cowl the entire city.

For a decade, Farmington’s financial institution held round $10 million in deposits. Within the third quarter this 12 months, deposits jumped to $84 million – 85% of which got here from simply 4 accounts, in accordance with FDIC information cited by the Instances.

On-line, the financial institution now seems as “Moonstone Financial institution,” a reputation which was trademarked just a few days earlier than FTX’s funding. Moonstone does not point out cryptocurrency, however does say it needs to “help the evolution of subsequent era finance.”

Questions are being requested over how FTX obtained federal approval to purchase its stake in Farmington. Banking veterans advised the New York Instances that it was laborious to consider regulators would have knowingly allowed the crypto agency to take action.

Moonstone and FTX didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark, despatched outdoors regular US working hours.

Learn the unique article on Enterprise Insider

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