U.S. closes six banks, bringing 2011 total to 34

By @ibtimes on

U.S. authorities closed six banks on Friday, bringing the total number of foreclosures in 2011 to 34.

The largest of the shuttered banks was Superior Bank of Birmingham, Alabama with about $3.0 billion in assets and $2.7 billion in deposits, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said in a release.

A newly chartered bank subsidiary of Community Bancorp LLC of Houston, Texas, called Superior Bank, N.A. will assume the failed bank's deposits, the FDIC said.

The bank is the largest to be closed by regulators this year, as measured by total assets. In January, a New Mexico bank with $2.31 billion in assets was closed.

Most of the banks that have failed so far in 2011 have had less than $1 billion in assets.

Washington Mutual, which had $307 billion in assets when it was seized in September 2008, remains the largest bank to fail during the financial crisis.

In 2010, 157 banks with total assets of $92 billion failed. That compares to 140 banks failing in 2009 with total assets of $169.7 billion.

FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair has said the agency expects the number of failures to drop in 2011.

Community banks continue to struggle with the weak economy and many are facing problems related to their exposure to the commercial real estate market.

The FDIC is pursuing lawsuits against failed banks and expects the caseload to be at least as heavy as after the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, Bair said on Friday.

The FDIC has said it anticipates bank failures will cost the industry-funded insurance fund about $45 billion from 2010 through 2014, compared with a prior estimate of $52 billion.

TWO IN ALABAMA, TWO IN GEORGIA

Other banks closed on Friday night were:

* Nexity Bank of Birmingham, Alabama, which had about $793.7 million in assets and $637.8 million in deposits. AloStar Bank of Commerce of Birmingham, Alabama, a newly chartered bank, will take over the failed bank's deposits.

* Bartow County Bank of Cartersville, Georgia, with about $330.2 million in assets and $304.1 million in deposits. Its deposits will be assumed by Hamilton State Bank of Hoschton, Georgia.

* New Horizons Bank of East Ellijay, Georgia, with about $110.7 million in assets and $106.1 million in deposits. Citizens South Bank of Gastonia, North Carolina, will assume New Horizons Bank's deposits.

* Heritage Banking Group of Carthage, Mississippi with about $224.0 million in assets and $196.2 million in deposits. Trustmark National Bank of Jackson, Mississippi, will assume its deposits.

* Rosemount National Bank, Rosemount, Minnesota, which had about $37.6 million in assets and $36.6 million in deposits, which will be assumed by Central Bank of Stillwater, Minnesota.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Richard Chang)

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