Banks closed in Tenn, Fla, Minn; 7 failures in ’12

WASHINGTON (AP) — Regulators on Friday closed banks in Tennessee, Florida and Minnesota, lifting to seven the number of U.S. bank failures this year following 92 closures in 2011.

The number of closures dropped sharply in 2011 from the two previous years, when banks were working their way through the bad debt accumulated in the recession. And the rate seems to be slowing more in 2012; by this time in 2011, regulators had shuttered 11 banks.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized Tennessee Commerce Bank, based in Franklin, Tenn., with $1.2 billion in assets and $1.1 billion in deposits.

It also closed BankEast, based in Knoxville, Tenn., with $272.6 million in assets and $268.8 million in deposits, plus First Guaranty Bank and Trust Co. of Jacksonville, in Jacksonville, Fla., with $377.9 million in assets and $349.5 million in deposits.

And it seized Patriot Bank Minnesota, based in Forest Lake, Minn., with $111.3 million in assets and $108.3 million in deposits.

Republic Bank & Trust Co., based in Louisville, Ky., agreed to assume all the deposits and $203.9 million of the loans and other assets of Tennessee Commerce Bank. The FDIC will retain the rest of the assets for eventual sale.

U.S. Bank, based in Cincinnati, agreed to acquire the assets and deposits of BankEast.

CenterState Bank of Florida, based in Winter Haven, Fla., is assuming the assets and deposits of First Guaranty Bank and Trust of Jacksonville. In addition, the FDIC and CenterState Bank of Florida agreed to share losses on $292.9 million of First Guaranty Bank and Trust’s assets.

First Resource Bank, based in Savage, Minn., agreed to assume the assets and deposits of Patriot Bank Minnesota. In addition, the agency and First Resource Bank agreed to share losses on $79.4 million of Patriot Bank’s assets.

The failure of Tennessee Commerce Bank is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund $416.8 million; that of First Guaranty Bank and Trust is expected to cost $82 million. BankEast’s failure is expected to cost the fund $75.6 million; that of Patriot Bank Minnesota, $32.6 million.

Florida is among the states with the highest number of bank failures. Regulators closed 13 banks in Florida last year and 29 in 2010. First Guaranty Bank and Trust of Jacksonville was the second Florida lender to fail this year. Last week, CenterState Bank agreed to acquire the assets and deposits of the failed Central Florida State Bank of Belleview, Fla.

California, Georgia and Illinois also have seen numerous bank failures.

The Tennessee banks closed Friday were the first in the state to fail since 2002.

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 last year; it stood at $7.8 billion as of Sept. 30.

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