Saturday, August 30, 2008

"Christian-Centered Philosophy"

Reading a bit more about the bank that the FDIC ate yesterday.

The Alpharetta-based bank, which opened its doors in 2000 with a Christian-centered philosophy, is the 10th U.S. bank to fail this year and the second Georgia institution to fail in the past 12 months.


Integrity’s employees regularly prayed before meetings or in branch lobbies with customers, while the bank gave 10 percent of its net income to charities.

“We felt if we prayed and obeyed God’s word and did what He asked, that He would help us be successful,” the bank’s founder, Steve Skow, told the Journal-Constitution in 2005.

And they were.

Centered around a Christian faith-based business model, Integrity Bank was a high-flying star of metro Atlanta's housing boom, but industry experts said Integrity quickly became the poster-child for lending and compensation excesses.


...Senior executive salaries, the bank’s compensation discussion and analysis section states, relied heavily on lenders and executives growing the total loan portfolio, with few incentives for credit quality.

CEO Steve Skow earned $1.8 million that year, while senior lender and executive vice president Doug Ballard earned $847,222. A typical community bank CEO, banking consultants said, earn roughly $300,000 per year.

Encouraged by their leader:

Steven Skow, ceo of faith-based Integrity Bank, has been encouraged by President Bush's emphasis on Christian values: "We're starting to see faith become popular, right up to our leader, the President of the U.S."

It's all God's Will:

"It's not me--it's the people and God's will that have made this thing successful."

Lovely discriminatory workplace practices.

Skow begins every business day praying with the top officers at his Integrity Bank.