Mount Pleasant-based Tidelands Bank narrows loss

Mount Pleasant-based Tidelands Bank has struggled to return to profitability after the last recession and real estate downturn.

The owner of Mount Pleasant-based Tidelands Bank said its losses narrowed in the second quarter.

The lender's deficit for the April-to-June period was $356,000 after accounting for deferred stock dividends it owes the federal government, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Losses totaled $1.13 million for the same quarter a year ago.

Tidelands Bancshares Inc. said its loss for the first six months of 2014 was $700,141, down from a $1.9 million deficit in the corresponding period of 2013.

The holding company said its community bank reduced its portfolio of bad loans by 13 percent from a year ago.

Among locally based lenders, Tidelands is the last to recover from the last recession and real estate crash. Its losses since 2008, when the downturn took hold, have totaled more than $49 million.

The bank has been postponing dividend payments for more than three years on preferred shares it sold to the U.S. Treasury to conserve cash. The government paid $14.5 million for the stock in 2008 under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Treasury's annual yield on the shares nearly doubled late last year to 9 percent, from 5 percent. The unpaid dividends totaled more than $3 million as of June 30.

Tidelands opened in October 2003. It has seven branches in Charleston, Dorchester, Berkeley, Horry and Beaufort counties.