Crypto firm FTX’s ownership of a U.S. bank in a small Eastern Washington town raises questions

FARMINGTON, Wash. – Among the many surprising assets uncovered in the bankruptcy of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX is a relatively tiny one that could raise big concerns: a stake in one of the country’s smallest banks.

The bank, Farmington State Bank is an hour’s drive south of Spokane in Whitman County near the Idaho border. It has five employees in Farmington. But it has about 25 employees working remotely for Farmington State Bank and Moonstone Bank, said Josey Booth, director of business operations at Moonstone Bank and Farmington State Bank.

Moonstone Bank is a new digital banking division of Farmington State Bank that has not yet opened to the public, Booth said.

Farmington State Bank, which has operated out of the same building since 1911, does not offer online banking or even a credit card.

It’s unclear how FTX was allowed to buy a stake in a U.S.-licensed bank, which would need to be approved by federal regulators.