Walla Walla, Wash. - Banner Corp., parent company of Banner Bank and Islanders Bank, has reported a net loss of $16.5 million for the second quarter ended June 30.

But things are looking up. That's compared to a net loss of $52.3 million in the second quarter a year ago.

The current quarter's results include a $45.0 million provision for loan losses and a $2.1 million special assessment from the FDIC. The current quarter's results also include an $11.0 million net gain from the valuation of financial instruments carried at fair value.

"Similar to recent quarters, our significant provision for loan losses during the quarter reflects material levels of non-performing loans and net charge-offs, particularly for loans for the construction of one-to-four family homes and for acquisition and development of land for residential properties," said D. Michael Jones, president and CEO.

He said housing markets generally remained weak in many areas, resulting in further deterioration in property values and the need to provide for additional loan losses.

Meanwhile, the non-housing related segments of the bank's loan portfolio continued to perform as expected with only normal levels of credit problems given the serious economic slowdown.

For the first six months of 2009, Banner reported a net loss of $25.8 million compared to a net loss of $48.5 million for the first six months of 2008.

- Dean Brickey

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