U.S. authorities closed three banks on Friday, bringing the total number of foreclosures in 2011 to 51.

First Chicago Bank & Trust of Chicago, Illinois, with just under $960 million in total assets, was closed, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp said. Northbrook Bank & Trust Company of Northbrook, Illinois, will assume all of the deposits of First Chicago's seven branches.

FDIC also said Colorado Capital Bank of Castle Rock, Colorado, was shut and First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company of Raleigh, North Carolina, would assume its deposits.

Colorado Capital Bank of Castle Rock had seven branches and $717.5 million in total assets.

Another Colorado bank, Signature Bank of Windsor, also closed, FDIC said. Points West Community Bank of Julesburg, Colorado, will assume the failed bank's deposits. Signature Bank had three branches and about $67 million in total assets.

The pace of failures is slowing as the banking industry recovers from the 2007-2009 financial crisis. The FDIC expects the total number of failures this year to be less than in 2010.

In 2010, 157 banks failed, following 140 failures in 2009.

Most of the banks that have failed this year have had less than $1 billion in assets as community banks continue to struggle with the weak economy and many are facing problems related to their exposure to the commercial real estate market.

On May 24, the FDIC released quarterly data showing that profits are at their highest level since the financial crisis took hold.

(Reporting by Alina Selyukh; Editing by Gary Hill)