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FDIC closes small banks in Georgia, Minnesota

FDIC closes small banks in Georgia, Minnesota

February 25th, 2012 in News

WASHINGTON (AP) - Regulators on Friday shuttered small banks in Georgia and Minnesota, bringing to 11 the number of U.S. bank failures this year.

By this time last year, regulators had closed more than twice as many banks - 23.

All told, 92 banks were closed in 2011, representing a sharp decline from the two previous years, when banks were working their way through the bad debt accumulated in the recession.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. closed Home Savings of America, based in Little Falls, Minn., with $434.1 million in assets and $432.2 million in deposits.

The FDIC did not find another lender to take over the bank's operations, so it will mail out checks to depositors in the amount of their insured funds.

The agency said it needs to obtain information from Home Savings customers to determine the number of uninsured deposits at the bank, which also had three branches in California. The FDIC insures up to $250,000 per depositor.

Regulators also closed Central Bank of Georgia, based in Ellaville, which had five branches, $278.9 million in assets and $266.6 million in deposits.

Ameris Bank, based in Moultrie, Ga., agreed to assume Central Bank's deposits and essentially all of its assets.

The two bank failures are expected to cost the deposit insurance fund $106.3 million.

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 larger sum 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.

By Sept. 30, the end of the federal government's most recent fiscal year, it stood at $7.8 billion.