Saturday, January 31, 2009

Belated Bank Failure Friday… A Threefor!

Yes, the weekly ritual continued last night…

Florida, Maryland, Utah Banks Shut as Financial Crisis Deepens

By Ari Levy

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Banks in Florida, Maryland and Utah were closed yesterday as regulators wrapped up the busiest month for failures since the housing slump began in 2006.

Ocala National Bank in Florida and Suburban Federal Savings Bank of Crofton, Maryland, were shut by federal regulators, according to statements sent by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. MagnetBank of Salt Lake City was seized by the Utah Department of Financial Institutions. The banks had total assets of $876.4 million and deposits of $790 million.

Six banks have failed this month as tumbling home prices and a 16-year high in unemployment boost foreclosures. The FDIC classified 171 banks as “problem” in the third quarter, a 46 percent jump from the previous period amid the worst housing crisis since the Great Depression.

Regulators closed 25 U.S. banks last year, the most since 1993, draining money from the FDIC deposit insurance fund, which had $34.6 billion as of Sept. 30. Ocala and Suburban Federal combined will cost the FDIC fund about $225.6 million, the regulator said. No estimate was provided for MagnetBank.

Suburban Federal’s seven offices were scheduled to open today as branches of The Bank of Essex of Tappahannock, Virginia, which acquired the deposits. The Office of Thrift Supervision said it seized the bank because of more than a year of losses stemming from soured residential, construction and land loans.

“The OTS determined that Suburban was critically undercapitalized and in unsound condition,” the regulator said in an e-mailed statement.

Deposits Insured
Ocala was closed by the Officer of the Comptroller of Currency. CenterState Bank of Florida in Winter Haven is assuming the deposits and four branches.
“Deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC, so there is no need for customers to change their banking relationship to retain their deposit insurance coverage,” the FDIC said in the Ocala statement.

The FDIC said it was unable to find a buyer for MagnetBank’s deposits, the first time that’s happened since 2004. Insured customers will be mailed checks for their funds next week.

The FDIC, the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve have stepped up efforts to aid U.S. institutions that reported more than $500 billion in writedowns and credit losses, and raised more than $400 billion in capital last year. The U.S. on Jan. 16 gave Bank of America Corp., the largest bank by assets, $20 billion cash and $118 billion in asset guarantees to help absorb losses after the acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co. Citigroup Inc. got $20 billion and $301 billion in guarantees in November.

Now, if only I can get someone to make this video for me with the names of all the failed banks flashing up in sequence, now that would be “rich.”

Queen Bites Dust- ( Misheard Lyrics )