Metropolitan Bank, HP in Conway Make for Big Business News Day

It’s been busy at the day job today, with two major business news stories developing. And we’re proud to say ArkansasBusiness.com was at the front of both of them.

1. Hewlett Packard is set to open a new plant in Conway and employ at least 1,200. Multiple sources tell us HP’s move will be announced at the 11:30 a.m. news conference scheduled for Thursday at the University of Central Arkansas. Gov. Mike Beebe will attend. While we’re not sure just want kind of plant HP is building, we’re told it’s something beyond just a call center. These look to be good tech jobs that central Arkansas desperately needs, especially in light of the Verizon acquisition of Alltel. (See video of my KTHV report today.)

2. Metropolitan Bank of Little Rock is under an agreement with federal regulators over its commercial loan practices. Blame problem loans — two-thirds of which are in northwest Arkansas — for today’s move, which invites comparisons to ANB Financial, the northwest Arkansas bank that failed in May. ANB too had an agreement with regulators over its practices last summer. The difference here: Metropolitan hasn’t reported any quarterly losses in recent memory and appears, on the whole, financially sound. And unlike the agreement with ANB’s agreement, regulators here aren’t damning Metropolitan’s management. Still, the move underscores just how far-reaching the credit crisis is and how aggressively regulators are going after banks over lending practices.

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2 Responses

  1. We are currently developing a subdivision in the Conway area. We would like to offer Hewlett Packard employees a special on our new homes. Do you have a contact?

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