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Feds shut banks in Georgia, Colorado, Kansas

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[March 21, 2009]  WASHINGTON (AP) -- Regulators on Friday shut down banks in Georgia, Colorado and Kansas, marking 20 failures of federally insured banks this year. More are expected to succumb to the prolonged recession.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver of the failed banks.

FirstCity Bank of Stockbridge, Ga., had about $297 million in assets and $278 million in deposits as of March 18. Colorado National Bank of Colorado Springs, Colo., had $123.5 million in assets and total deposits of $82.7 million as of Dec. 31. Paola, Kan.-based Teambank N.A. had assets of $669.8 million and total deposits of $492.8 million as of Dec. 31.

The FDIC said it will mail checks to depositors of FirstCity Bank for their insured funds on Monday morning. Direct deposits from the federal government, such as Social Security and veterans' benefits payments, will be transferred to SunTrust Bank.

At the time of closing, FirstCity Bank had an estimated $778,000 in deposits that exceeded the insurance limits, the FDIC said. Regular deposit accounts are insured up to $250,000.


Amarillo, Texas-based Herring Bank will assume all of the deposits of Colorado National, whose four branches will reopen as Herring Bank branches on Saturday.

In addition to assuming all of the deposits of the failed bank, Herring Bank agreed to buy about $117.3 million in assets at a discount of $4.2 million. The bank agreed to pay a 1 percent premium on the deposits.

The FDIC said it will keep the bank's remaining assets for future sale. Additionally, Herring Bank entered into a loss sharing agreement with the FDIC, wherein the FDIC will assume 80 percent of the losses and Herring Bank 20 percent of the losses on $62 million in assets.

Teambank's 17 branches will reopen on Saturday as branches of Great Southern Bank. The Springfield, Mo.-based bank is assuming $474 million of Teambank's deposits for about $4.7 million, while the FDIC is paying out $18.8 million in deposits directly to brokers.

Great Southern Bank has also agreed to buy about $656.5 million in assets at a discount of $100 million. The remaining assets will be sold at a later date, the FDIC said. Additionally, the FDIC has agreed to cover 80 percent of the losses on about $450 million in assets, while Great Southern Bank will cover the remaining 20 percent of losses.

The FDIC said Teambank was affiliated with Colorado National Bank.

The FDIC estimates that the cost to the deposit insurance fund from the closings of the three banks will be about $207 million.

The last bank closing, two weeks ago, involved a Georgia bank, Freedom Bank of Georgia in Commerce, Ga.

As the economy sours, unemployment rises, home prices tumble and loan defaults soar, bank failures have cascaded and sapped billions out of the deposit insurance fund. It now stands at its lowest level in nearly a quarter-century, $18.9 billion as of Dec. 31, compared with $52.4 billion at the end of 2007.

The FDIC expects that bank failures will cost the insurance fund around $65 billion through 2013.

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The agency said Friday that the nation's banks and thrifts lost $32.1 billion in the final quarter of last year, even worse than the $26.2 billion originally reported last month. "Significant" revisions also lowered the industry's net income for all of 2008 to $10.2 billion from $16.1 billion.

Rising losses on loans and eroding values of assets bit into the revenue of U.S. banks and thrifts in late 2008, causing them to post the first quarterly deficit in 18 years.

The $26.2 billion loss originally reported for the October-December period already was the largest in 25 years of FDIC records. It compared with a $575 million profit in the fourth quarter of 2007.

And the originally reported 2008 net income of $16.1 billion was the smallest annual profit since 1990, during the savings and loan crisis.

The 18 bank collapses this year follow 25 failures in 2008, which included two of the biggest savings and loans, Washington Mutual Inc. and IndyMac Bank. Last year's total was more than in the previous five years combined and up from only three failures in 2007.

The FDIC had 252 banks and thrifts on its list of troubled institutions at the end of 2008, up from 171 in the third quarter.

The agency recently raised the fees that U.S. banks and thrifts pay, and levied a hefty emergency premium in a bid to collect $27 billion this year to replenish the insurance fund.

President Barack Obama has outlined a federal budget proposal that calls for spending up to $750 billion for additional financial industry rescue efforts atop the $700 billion that Congress has already approved.

Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp., for example, have had to go back to the government well for more cash amid continuing losses from toxic assets and soured consumer loans. They each have received $45 billion in bailout money, and the government recently agreed to exchange up to $25 billion of Citigroup's portion for as much as a 36 percent equity stake in the struggling banking giant.


AP Business Writer Sara Lepro contributed to this report from New York.

[Associated Press; By MARCY GORDON]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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