Small Fla, Ariz banks closed; 92 failures in 2011

AP News
Posted: Dec 16, 2011 8:09 PM
Small Fla, Ariz banks closed; 92 failures in 2011

Regulators on Friday closed small banks in Florida and Arizona, boosting to 92 the number of bank failures in the U.S. this year.

The number of closures has fallen sharply this year as banks have worked their way through the bad debt accumulated in the recession. By this time last year, regulators had shuttered 157 banks.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized Premier Community Bank of the Emerald Coast, based in Crestview, Fla., with $126 million in assets and $112 million in deposits, and Phoenix-based Western National Bank, with $162.9 million in assets and $144.5 million in deposits.

Summit Bank, based in Panama City, Fla., agreed to assume the loans and other assets as well as the deposits of Premier Community Bank. In addition, the FDIC and Summit Bank agreed to share losses on $98 million of Premier Community Bank's assets.

Washington Federal, based in Seattle, is acquiring the assets and deposits of Western National Bank.

The failure of Premier Community Bank of the Emerald Coast is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund $31.2 million; that of Western National Bank is expected to cost $37.6 million.

Florida has been one of the hardest-hit states for bank failures. Regulators closed 29 banks in Florida last year. The failure of Premier Community Bank brought to 13 the number of Florida lenders shut down this year

California, Georgia and Illinois also have seen large numbers of bank failures.

In all of 2010, regulators seized 157 banks, the most in any year since the savings and loan crisis two decades ago. Those failures cost around $23 billion. The FDIC has said 2010 likely was the high-water mark for bank failures from the Great Recession.

In 2009, there were 140 bank failures that cost the insurance fund about $36 billion, a higher price tag than in 2010 because the banks involved were bigger 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 FDIC expects failures from 2011 through 2015 to cost $19 billion.

The deposit insurance fund fell into the red in 2009. With failures slowing, the FDIC's fund balance turned positive in the second quarter of this year; it stood at $7.8 billion as of Sept. 30.