Federal regulators have entered the family bank of Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias Friday evening, and NBC Chicago reports that a worker at the main Broadway Bank branch says "it's over."
The Chicago Tribune reports that banking regulators entered the Chicago headquarters of Broadway Bank after 5 p.m. Friday, "the apparent concluding step in the government's expected takeover of the family-run lender."
"It is an incredibly sad and heartbreaking day for me and my family," Giannoulias said this evening during a news conference, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
"At the time I left the bank, by every independent analysis, it was one of the best-performing in Illinois," he said.
"I was raised in that bank and I'm extremely proud of the lessons I learned there and the values our father taught us."
He blamed the real-estate market crash for the bank's woes.
MB Financial Bank will acquire Broadway Bank's deposits, AP reports. Broadway Bank has $1.2 billion in assets.
"When I decided to run, I knew it was going to be tough," Giannoulias said this month in a speech to a Chicago civic club, according to the Associated Press. "Examining my record is one thing, but putting your family in the line of fire is quite another. Believe me, it's not easy. But I didn't get into this race because I thought it was going to be easy."
Giannoulias' Broadway Bank woes have made him an easy target for Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk, who has continually tried to paint his competitor as a "reckless" failed banker. Kirk's campaign took Friday's closure as another opportunity to slam Giannoulias.
"While years of risky lending schemes, hot money investments and loans to organized crime led to today's failure, it's a sad day for Broadway Bank employees who may lose their jobs due to Mr. Giannoulias' reckless business practices,'' Kirk spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said, according to the Sun-Times.
Giannoulias' brother, Demetris Giannoulias, is president and CEO of Broadway Bank. He issued a statement Friday:
"This is a difficult day for bank employees, for my family, for this community and for all those who built businesses and protected their savings with the help of this bank. We fought to carry out the vision my father had when he founded Broadway Bank 30 years ago, but our bank -- like many businesses -- has struggled during these challenging times. There are thousands of small banks at risk in this country and we hope they can remain in operation to help rebuild our economy."
Despite the bank's takeover, the Giannoulias campaign has no intention of backing out.
"Alexi keeps defying the odds. ... Despite a blistering primary campaign against an opponent who spent $2 million against him and an unparalleled attack from Republicans, he's raised $1.2 million and kept this race within the margin of error," a Giannoulias spokeswoman told Politico. "This is a campaign that will be close to the very end."
WATCH FDIC spokesman Rickey McCullough explain why the bank failed and what it means for customers: