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West Bank has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $18,920 assessed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) for alleged violations of federal Flood Act provisions that require flood insurance to be taken out when loans are extended to properties within areas having special flood hazards. According to an FDIC document released Friday, the West Des Moines-based bank entered into a stipulation agreement on April 23 related to seven violations cited in an August 2008 examination. West Bank neither admitted nor denied the allegations.

The U.S. savings rate climbed to 5.7 percent, incomes nudged up and consumer spending fell in April, the U.S. Commerce Department said today. The savings rate reached its highest level in 14 years. Household spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy, is likely to falter again this quarter even as consumer confidence improves, extending the worst recession in a half century. Still, signs of stabilization in other areas, such as housing and manufacturing, suggest that the economic slump will ease later in the year. Incomes climbed 0.5 percent in April, the biggest gain in almost a year, reflecting increases in unemployment insurance benefits and Social Security payments associated with the Obama administration’s stimulus plan.

U.S. consumer sentiment rose in May, reaching the highest level since September, as more Americans feel the end of the recession is approaching, according to a survey by the University of Michigan and Reuters, MarketWatch reported. The consumer sentiment index rose to 68.7 from 65.1 in April. In mid-May the estimate was 67.9. Economists were looking for a final May result of 68.

Fort Dodge-based North Central Bancshares Inc. the holding company for First Federal Savings Bank of Iowa, has declared a cash dividend of 1 cent per share on its common stock to be paid on July 3 to shareholders of record as of June 12.

Online advertised job vacancies increased 250,000 to 3,367,000 in May, according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted Online Data Series released today. The May gain was the first since an increase of 21,000 in October 2008, and the largest since October 2006.

The historic 1933 building that formerly housed Don’s East Grand Service Station at 203 E. Grand Ave. in Des Moines is now for sale on eBay through Consign Online. Bidding is starting at $26,000. Click here to view the auction. Historic East Village Inc. took ownership of the building after Jim Cownie’s JSC Properties purchased the property. It is selling bricks for $100 to go toward the Save the Gas Station Fund. Contact sarah.oltrogge@iowa.gov for more information.

Samuel Allen, 55, has been elected president, chief operating officer and a member of the board of directors of Deere & Co., effective June 1, the company announced. On Aug. 1, he will become CEO, replacing Robert Lane, 59, who will continue to serve as chairman. In other executive moves, Michael Mack will become president of the Worldwide Construction & Forestry Division, James Field will become senior vice president and chief financial officer, and Jean Gilles will become senior vice president of Deere Power Systems Group, Deere Intelligent Mobile Equipment Technologies and Advanced Technology and Innovation.

Correction: An item in the May 29 Business Daily should have identified Chris Littlefield as the chief operating officer of Aviva USA.

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