Regulators shut down a bank in Illinois and two in Colorado on Friday, boosting to 51 the number of U.S. bank failures this year.
The latest closings come even as the overall pace of bank failures has slowed as the economy gradually improves and banks work their way through the bad debt accumulated during the financial crisis. Through July 9 last year, regulators had closed 90 banks.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Friday seized First Chicago Bank & Trust in Chicago and Colorado Capital Bank in Castle Rock, Colo., and Signature Bank, in Windsor, Colo.
Northbrook Bank & Trust Co., based in Northbrook, Ill., agreed to assume the deposits and a majority of the assets of First Chicago, which had about $959.3 million in assets and $887.5 million in deposits.
Northbrook paid the FDIC a premium of 0.50 percent for the failed bank's deposits and agreed to buy about $880.7 million of First Chicago's assets.
In addition, the FDIC and Northbrook Bank agreed to share losses on $699.8 million of First Chicago's assets.
First Citizens Bank & Trust Co., based in Raleigh, N.C., assumed all the deposits and essentially all the assets of Colorado Capital, which had about $717.5 million in assets and $672.8 million in deposits.
The FDIC and First Citizens also agreed to share losses on $580 million of Colorado Capital's assets.
"We look forward to working with existing clients and establishing new relationships in the days to come," said B. Holding Jr., First Citizens Bank's CEO said in a statement. The bank is a unit of First Citizens BancShares.
Points West Community Bank, based in Julesburg, Colo., agreed to assume Signature Bank's $64.5 million in deposits and essentially all of its $66.7 million in assets.
The two bank failures are expected to cost the deposit insurance fund $590.4 million, combined.
In all, four banks have failed in Colorado this year. First Chicago is the fifth lender to collapse this year in Illinois.
In 2010 regulators seized 157 banks, the most in a year since the savings-and-loan crisis two decades ago.
The FDIC has said that 2010 likely would mark the peak for bank failures.
There were 140 bank failures in 2009, costing the insurance fund about $36 billion. The failures last year cost around $21 billion, a lower price tag because the banks that failed in 2010 were smaller on average. Twenty-five banks failed in 2008, the year the financial crisis struck with force; only three were closed in 2007.
From 2008 through 2010, bank failures cost the fund $76.8 billion. The deposit insurance fund fell into the red in 2009. With failures slowing, its deficit narrowed in the first quarter of this year and stood at about $1 billion as of March 31.
The FDIC expects the cost of resolving failed banks to total around $52 billion from 2010 through 2014.
Depositors' money _ insured up to $250,000 per account _ is not at risk, with the FDIC backed by the government. That insurance cap was made permanent in the financial overhaul law enacted last July.
The number of banks on the FDIC's confidential "problem" list edged up to 888 in the January-March quarter from 884 as of Dec. 31. The 888 troubled banks is the highest number since 1993, during the savings-and-loan crisis. But that doesn't mean the pace of bank failures is likely to accelerate again because, historically, only 19 percent of the banks on the "problem" list actually fail.