Humboldt Merchant Services: ‘Business Continues As Usual’

EUREKA, Calif. - Though the federal government issued word Friday it had taken over the parent bank for Humboldt Merchant Services - which provides merchant account services for several adult online companies - officials on various fronts said business will continue as usual.

Hilda Tuel, senior vice president/sales manager and an 11-plus year employee of the company, said the company was operating as normal this morning.

"We are commited to all of our merchants, and our high-risk merchants are a top priority," she said.

Tuel said all 85 employees of Humboldt Merchant Services were in the office on Monday, conducting business as usual for retail, restaurant and high-risk merchants.

On Friday, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was named receiver for the First National Bank of Nevada, Reno (parent sponsor bank of Humboldt Merchant Services) and First Heritage Bank, N.A., Newport Beach after they were closed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Mutual of Omaha Bank then took over all of the deposits and certain assets of both banks.

"First National Bank of Nevada was the holding bank for Humboldt Merchant Services and acted as the acquiring and sponsoring bank for the more than 20,000 merchant accounts that are part of the HBMS merchant portfolio," a statement from Humboldt's President Ken Musante stated on the company's website.

"I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that our daily ongoing operations and management remain intact. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) assumed majority interest in Humboldt Merchant Services to ensure our ongoing operations and continued growth.

"This means that our customers will continue to receive uninterrupted payment processing. Additionally, processing of funds have not and will not be impacted. Settlement and customer support will continue to operate as normal with no disruption in daily activities.

"We continue to be a thriving processor with the unique skills to appropriately manage and service all our clients with exceptional service.

"If you have any concerns or questions, please call me at (707) 269-3207. I personally want to say 'Thank You' for your trust and continued business," the statement read.

Posters on webmaster forum site posted concern about losing their deposits, but representatives from Humboldt Merchant Services assured all account holders that all transactions can continue as normal and processing can continue.

All 28 offices of the two banks affected reopened Monday as branches of Mutual of Omaha Bank. All depositors, including those with deposits in excess of the FDIC's insurance limits, automatically became depositors of Mutual of Omaha Bank for the full amount of their deposits, FDIC officials stated in a release.

"Depositors will continue to be insured with Mutual of Omaha Bank so there is no need for customers to change their banking relationship to retain their deposit insurance," the release said.

Those with questions can contact Tuel at 707-269-3303 or 707-616-7681 or e-mail