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Suffolk bank may have loan problems

Suffolk County National Bank in Riverhead

Suffolk County National Bank in Riverhead Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan, 2011

Citing "possible deficiencies and/or weaknesses" in its loan management, Riverhead-based Suffolk Bancorp on Wednesday said it will not file its quarterly report on time for the financial period ending March 31.

Also, the bank said, it may need to restate its loan losses in one or more previous financial reports.

Organized in 1890, the corporation operates 30 branches of the Suffolk County National Bank.

The bank said it discovered the problems while preparing its quarterly report, or 10-Q, for the Securities and Exchange Commission. It said the problems are "in the company’s internal controls with respect to credit administration and credit risk management, primarily with respect to the timing of the recognition of credit risk, as well as with regard to risk rating which affected the computation of the allowance for loan losses."

The bank has independent consultants reviewing its loan files "to assist management in validating or correcting this computation."

"As a result of this review, Suffolk may determine that the allowance for loan losses should be adjusted in one or more prior periods.

"In addition, the review could result in Suffolk making the determination that it needs to restate its financial statements for one or more prior periods," Suffolk Bancorp said.

The bank intends to get its paperwork filed "as promptly as practicable following the completion of this review."

On April 12, the bank reported that the net loss for the three months ended March 31, 2011 was expected to be $12.9 million compared to net income of $1.5 million in the prior year period. But those numbers may change, the company said.

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