One on one with Citizens
Editor's note: For the past several months, questions, comments, rumors and more have been circulating regarding Citizens First National Bank, which has its headquarters in Princeton. The Bureau County Republican sat down on Friday with Citizens First National Bank President/CEO Tom Ogaard in a one-on-one question and answer setting to learn about the state of the company's 21 banks in 17 communities. The bank employs approximately 300 people, with 165 of those staff members working in Bureau County. Ogaard came to Citizens in the fall of 2009 and became the president/CEO in February 2010.
BCR: How would you summarize how the bank has ended up in its current situation?
Ogaard: I would summarize that as a result of the economic conditions that we found ourselves in. There is a number of institutions, like ours, that have had their problems. It's primarily related to loans that were made for development purposes ... the values of those properties have deteriorated rather significantly. In my opinion, there needed to be some different structuring here at the bank, and we have gone ahead and done that. But I think with everything, (it) primarily relates back to the real estate market and what's happened subsequent to that. I don't think anybody ever thought the value levels would become what they currently are.
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