Federal regulators levy fines against CertusBank founders, former execs

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Above: CertusBank founders Angela Webb and Walter Davis

Three founders and former executives of the now-defunct CertusBank have been fined more than $55,000 for what federal regulators said were excessive spending and “reckless unsafe or unsound practices” that resulted in bank financial losses.

Greenville native Walter Davis, Milton Jones, and Angela Webb, all bank founders, agreed to pay the civil penalties to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency without admitting any wrongdoing.

None could be reached for comment.

In May 2011, Certus executives joined then Gov. Nikki Haley and other state and city officials in Greenville to announce they were locating the bank’s corporate headquarters to the ONE project downtown and creating 350 jobs.

The bank ultimately sustained continuous financial losses and sold off its assets.

Jones, Davis, and Webb, who were executive chairman, chief executive officer, and president, respectively, eventually were terminated by the financial institution.

Webb agreed to pay a penalty of $27,000, according to OCC records. Davis agreed to pay $25,000, and Jones $3,500, the records show.

A fourth Certus founder, Charles Williams, wasn’t fined. All four entered into cease-and-desist orders with the OCC that stipulate certain conditions for employment at an insured depository institution.

According to OCC documents, Webb and Davis incurred excessive expenses related to the purchase, improvement, furnishing, and decoration of three condominiums in Greenville for executive officer use. Also, according to the documents, Webb facilitated improper bank payments of $230,000 to a privately held company that provided management services for CertusBank. And all three, including Jones, failed to present to the bank board for a decision “strategically important” contracts that exceeded management’s authority to bind the bank without board approval before the contracts were executed. Included was the buildout of the bank’s executive and administrative offices in Greenville, OCC officials said.

 

 

 

 

 

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