U.S. regulators announced Friday the closure of four banks in Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Colorado and New Mexico.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said the banks in Oklahoma and Wisconsin were being acquired by others in their respective states. The New Mexico bank is being taken over by a Minneapolis peer.
To handle the failure of Colorado-based FirsTier Bank, the agency said it created a bank to provide transitional services to customers until Feb. 28, encouraging them to transfer their accounts to other institutions.
The failures brings 2011's tally of closed banks to 11. The number of banks that failed last year--157--was the highest since the savings and loan crisis ended in 1992, although the total assets at those fallen banks was much smaller than the total the year before. That's because the trend has shifted to smaller banks that serve struggling local economies from larger banks that took on too much housing risk.
New Mexico-based First Community Bank and its 38 branches are coming under the control of U.S. Bank, National Association in Minneapolis. It had approximately $2.31 billion in total assets and $1.94 billion in total deposits as of Sept. 30. The branches will reopen Saturday under their new owner.
First State Bank in Oklahoma is being acquired by Bank 7 of Oklahoma City. The bank had about $43.5 million in total assets and $40.3 million in total deposits with a single branch as of Sept. 30. On Monday, that branch will reopen as a branch of Bank 7, which has three other locations in Oklahoma.
Evergreen State Bank in Wisconsin will be taken over by McFarland State Bank of McFarland, Wis. Evergreen had about $246.5 million in total assets and $195.2 million in total deposits with four branches as of Sept. 30. Evergreen's branches will reopen Saturday as McFarland locations.
As part of purchase and assumption agreements with the FDIC, the acquiring banks will assume all the deposits and essentially all the assets of the failed ones. Depositors at the failed banks will automatically become depositors of the new banks, and their deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC. The FDIC insures deposits for up to $250,000 per depositor.
FirsTier Bank, the one without a purchaser and the second Colorado bank to fail this year, had about $781.5 million in total assets and $722.8 million in total deposits as of Sept. 30. The main office and all branches of FirsTier will reopen on Saturday and will provide limited services, and the newly created, transitional bank will maintain limited business hours. Banking activities, such as writing checks, ATM and debit-card withdrawals can continue normally for former customers of FirsTier Bank until Feb. 11.
All government direct deposits, including Social Security checks, will be redirected to FirstBank in Lakewood, Colo., for 30 days after Feb. 22, where they will be processed at the same time as in the past.
The FDIC estimated that the cost of the failures will be $545.5 million to the Deposit Insurance Fund, with most of the expense stemming from FirsTier Bank and First Community Bank.
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