published Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Cornerstone back in black

Cornerstone Bancshares Inc. cut its loan write-offs and boosted its interest spreads this spring to report its second quarter of profits following last year’s losses.

The Chattanooga bank reported Tuesday that it earned $18,000 in net income in the second quarter and $362,000 in the first half of 2010. A year ago, Cornerstone lost $603,000 in the second quarter and $3.5 million in the first half of last year.

Frank Hughes, Cornerstone’s new CEO, said the bank is improving its loan mix, shrinking its loan portfolio and reducing its commercial real estate exposure.

Feds probe VW Passat fire risk

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating Volkswagen AG Passat cars for fires in the engine compartment that may be related to ignition-coil failures.

According to the agency, Passat cars for model years 2002 and 2003 have been the subject of 10 reports of fires and six complaints of coil failures that didn’t cause a fire.

“Volkswagen takes all of these reports very seriously,” Kerry Christopher, a U.S.-based spokesman for Volkswagen, told Bloomberg. “We intend to work with NHTSA and fully investigate these complaints.”

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