Category Archives: Banking

Banner Bank adds first Kitsap branch

logo@2xWalla Walla-based Banner Bank entered the West Sound market this fall with the addition of a Poulsbo branch.

The branch, at 18960 Highway 305, was formerly operated by AmericanWest Bank. Banner announced a deal to buy AmericanWest a year ago, and the acquisition was completed in February.

The AmericanWest in Poulsbo became a Banner Bank branch on Oct. 2, Manager Cathy Shaffer said. The AmericanWest employees stayed on with Banner.

Banner offers a full menu of banking services, including free personal and business checking. You can reach the Poulsbo branch at 360-394-1701.

A public open house is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Banner Bank was founded in 1890. It now operates more than 200 branches spread across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and Utah.

Purpose Boutique, Smithshyre vying for $20k prize

Purpose-Boutique-2702_lightbox_7488042_ver1.0_640_480Two Kitsap County businesses are among five finalists for Kitsap Bank’s $20,000 edg3 FUND prize. 

Bremerton’s Purpose Boutique and Poulsbo’s Smithshyre farm were chosen from a pool of sixteen semifinalists.

The other finalists are Combat Flip Flops of Bellevue, Community Supported Biocycling of Seattle, and OlyKraut of Olympia.

The finalists will make their pitches to a panel of judges during a live finale. The event is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Nov. 12 at the Kitsap Conference Center. Tickets are available here.

You can read more about Purpose Boutique here and Smithshyre here.

Foreclosure sale looms for College Marketplace properties


Back in July we reported that much of the vacant land remaining in Poulsbo’s College Marketplace was bound for a trustee’s sale on Oct. 16. 

The public auction is moving ahead, according to a notices of trustee’s sale published Thursday.

The sale will include about 40 tax parcels totaling 60 acres. The properties border the Walmart, Home Depot and Big 5/OfficeMax complexes at the interchange of Highway 3 and Highway 305.

According to the notices, the land owner, Olhava Associates of Edmonds, owes more than $17 million in unpaid loan principal MUFG Union Bank, successor to defunct Frontier Bank. 

The sale won’t include two parcels identified as 3H and 3I, where a car wash and Starbucks are planned. Those parcels recently sold and the notice of trustee’s sale for the Olhava properties was amended to exclude them.

The notices appeared on pages 10B and 11B of the Sept. 17 Kitsap Sun.

Six Kitsap companies in running for $20k prize

Smithshyre Farm
Who wouldn’t give this guy $20,000? Smithshyre farm in Poulsbo.

Kitsap Bank announced 16 semifinalists its $20,000 edg3 FUND competition Wednesday, and the list includes six Kitsap companies.

Nearly 60 businesses applied, according to a new release from the bank.

It just so happens we’ve written about all the local semifinalists at one time or another. Here’s the list of Kitsap hopefuls, with links to our stories:

Coyote Woodshop, Bainbridge Island (Kitsap Sun story)

F.R.O.G. Soap, Bremerton (Kitsap Sun story)

Kitsap Fresh, Poulsbo (KPBJ story)

Lisa Stirrett Glass Art Studio, Silverdale (Kitsap Sun story)

Purpose Boutique, Bremerton (Kitsap Sun story)

The Smithshyre, Poulsbo (KPBJ story and Meegan Reid photo above)

A public vote will help narrow the field of contenders September. Five finalists will give presentations during a live event Nov. 12 at Kitsap Conference Center in Bremerton, and the winner will be announced the same day.

The edg3 FUND contest recognizes businesses that contribute to their communities economically, socially and environmentally.

See the rest of the semifinalists below:

Continue reading

Washington Federal opens Bainbridge branch

washington-federal-logoSeattle-based Washington Federal has added a third Kitsap County location with the opening of a Bainbridge Island branch.

The new branch is located next to Starbucks at 337 High School Road NE. A grand opening ribbon cutting will be held at 1:30 p.m. Monday, followed by an ice cream social from noon to 3 p.m. Friday.

Washington Federal will offer full-service ATMs and regular banking and mortgage services on the island. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday.

Manager Cherrie Cibene said Washington Federal had a large number of customers on the island served by the Poulsbo branch.

“They were asking for us to be out here,” Cibene said.

Washington Federal has locations on Highway 305 in Poulsbo and Highway 303 in East Bremerton. Founded in Ballard in 1917, the bank operates more than 200 offices in eight western states.

For more information on the Bainbridge branch, call (360) 780-6683.

Kitsap Bank reports $1 billion in assets

Kitsap-BankOlympic Bancorp, parent company for Kitsap Bank, reached a milestone at the end of June, reporting $1 billion in total assets for the first time in its history.

The bank also reported net income of $3.8 million for the first half of the year, compared with $3.2 million for the same period of 2014. Loan totals were up by 9.5 percent, while deposits reached $900 million, according to a Friday news release.

Olympic Bancorp recently announced an agreement to purchase Puget Sound Financial Services and its subsidiary, Fife Commercial Bank, pending shareholder and regulatory approval.

The transaction was approved by shareholders of Puget Sound Financial at a July 16 meeting, according to the release. Regulatory approval is expected soon.

Deadline nears for $20k small biz competition

Entrepreneurs and small business owners have one more week to sign up for Kitsap Bank’s $20,000 edg3 FUND competition. 

0707_KSAP_edg3 FUND logo_1435678770266_20553009_ver1.0_640_480The annual competition, launched in 2014, recognizes businesses that benefit their communities economically, socially and environmentally. The deadline for applications is July 31.

Judges will select semifinalists in August and a public vote will help narrow the field in September. Finalists will give presentations during a live event Nov. 12 at Kitsap Conference Center in Bremerton, and the winner will be announced the same day.

Last year’s competition drew about 70 entries. The winner was Pawzii, Inc., a company founded in Bremerton with offices in Seattle. Pawzii offers online pet licensing services.

See the edg3 FUND competition website for more details.

Receivership ends for Courtesy Auto properties

A painful but potentially rejuvenating process has come to an end on Poulsbo’s Viking Avenue.

A Kitsap County Superior Court judge approved a motion June 26 terminating receivership for the former Courtesy Auto Group properties.

All told, six parcels formerly owned by the Hern family have been sold since 2013, fetching about $4.6 million.

The properties were home to a number of Courtesy Auto dealerships, forming the core of Poulsbo’s once-bustling automotive corridor.

Union Bank successfully petitioned the court to appoint a receiver for the properties in 2011, seeking repayment of a $10 million loan made by Frontier Bank to the Herns in 2009. Union Bank took over the loan after Frontier failed in 2010. 

Here’s a look at the Courtesy Auto properties sold and what businesses are there now:

1. Chevrolet building — $1.4 million

imgresSold on: April 10, 2013

Sold to: Christina and Scott Hensrude

Current assessed value: $1.09 million

Description: 1.43 acres with a 16,350-square-foot showroom at 19873 Viking Ave. NW, on the southwest corner of Edvard Street and Viking.

Now home to: Abra Auto Body and Glass.

2. Suzuki building — $375,000

427335_3418875_ver1.0_640_480Sold on: Sept. 23, 2013

Sold to: Janice and Kevin Krieger, and Lisa and Steven Stirrett

Current assessed value: $239,100

Description: One-third acre with a 1,600-square-foot showroom at 19568 Viking Ave., across from the Food Mart and Los Cazadores.

Now home to: smoke shop and hookah lounge called Up In Smoke. Continue reading

Couple involved in Westsound Bank failure sentenced

Picture_7__5660071_ver1.0_640_480A developer linked to the collapse of Bremerton’s Westsound Bank was sentenced to five years in prison Friday and ordered to repay more than $10 million fraudulently obtained from the bank.

Aleksandr Kravchenko, 36, pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and filing a false tax return, according to the Seattle U.S. Attorney’s Office. His wife, Galina Kravchenko, pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return. She was sentenced to five years in prison.

The Kravchenkos engaged in a scheme in which they submitted dozens of false construction loan applications to Westsound Bank, working in collusion with a loan officer. Investigators determined the bank lost $10.7 million through bad loans as a result of the scheme.

The Kravchenkos diverted money from the loans for personal use, and collected fees.

Westsound Bank failed in 2009, costing the FDIC’s Deposit Insurance Fund $106 million. Kitsap Bank took over Westsound’s operations.

The FDIC sued 11 former Westsound Bank officers for gross negligence in 2011, and settled the case a year later. 

The Kravchenkos fled to Moldova in 2009. Galina was arrested in Moldova in December and extradited to the United States. Alkesandr returned to the U.S. in February.

The couple were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

Salon evicted by bank finds new home

Back in January we wrote about First Citizens Bank evicting tenants of a Port Orchard building following a foreclosure.

TommyCsBuilding02_12691341_ver1.0_640_480The eviction forced popular restaurant Tommy C’s to relocate, and led to the shuttering of Sk8Town.

Another business located in the Piperberry Way building has found a new home in an just down the road. Helen Kestle, owner of Fab U Look makeup and hair salon, reports she has reopened at 1541 Piperberry Way.

Kestle said she considered relocating to Silverdale but quickly realized how loyal her customers were to South Kitsap.

“I’ve learned that Port Orchard people are very dedicated to supporting their town,” she said. “I’m a Port Orchard girl.”

Kestle can be reached at

Tommy C’s, rebranded as Cash Brewing Company, is in a soft opening phase in Silverdale, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page.