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Lax board, hazardous lending lead to bank's failure

Hazardous lending practices approved by the directors of Cape Fear Bank appear to have contributed to the bank's failure, according to a report by Stella M. Hopkins of The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer. John Davie Waggett, a successful pharmacist, tried his hand at real estate development securing over $18 million in loans. The largest lender was Cape Fear, and Waggett served on its board of directors. "The Observer's examination of board meeting minutes, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, indicates the directors often approved loans exceeding regulatory guidelines. For example, banks are generally not supposed to lend 100 percent of a property's value. That may have happened in at least one of Waggett's Cape Fear loans."

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