DENVER, Colo. (


) --

Shares of United Western Bancorp

( UWBK) fell sharply Friday after the struggling thrift disclosed its agreement to a Cease and Desist order with the Office of Thrift Supervision on June 25.

The stock was down 13 cents, or 17%, to 66 cents in early afternoon trades. Volume of 528,343 was nearing the issue's trailing three-month daily average of 580,389. Through Thursday's close, the shares were already down more than 70% so far in 2010.

The regulatory order was particularly nasty, requiring the holding company and its main subsidiary,

United Western Bank

, to submit capital plans within just seven days, detailing how the thrift would increase its Tier 1 leverage ratio to 8% and its total risk-based capital ratio to 12%.

These ratios need to be at least 5% and 10% for most banks and thrifts to be considered

well capitalized

by regulators. For United Western Bank, the ratios were 6.63% and 9.18% as of March 31.

The OTS's higher capital requirements for United Western and quick timeframe for a capital plan indicate that things turned worse for the thrift during the second quarter.

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Nonperforming assets -- including nonaccrual loans and loans past due 90 days or more (less government-guaranteed balances) along with repossessed real estate -- comprised 3.49% of total assets as of March 31, and earlier-stage delinquencies of 30-89 days comprised another 2.03% of total assets.

The order also requires United Western to submit a new operations plan within 30 days.

United Western Bancorp had $2.6 billion in total assets as of March 31. Competing institutions in the Denver area include

Guaranty Bancorp

(GBNK) - Get Guaranty Bancorp Report


CoBiz Financial

(COBZ) - Get CoBiz Financial Inc. Report


As recently as June 21, United Western shares closed above $1 following a surge of buying interest after it agreed to acquire Legent Clearing LLC, a provider of securities clearing and settlement services, on June 15 for a consideration of $13 million in cash and 2.5 million common shares.

At that time, United Western said it expected the Legent deal to increase its deposits by more than $400 million and to add to earnings within the first 12 months of its completion, which remains subject to the approval of regulators.


Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.