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BankUnited Financial Files Chapter 11

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) ¿ The former holding company for BankUnited FSB filed for Chapter 11 protection on Friday, one day after the thrift was seized by federal regulators.

The thrift itself was expected to reopen under the BankUnited name next week under ownership by a new investment group.

BankUnited Financial Corp., the former holding company for the thrift, made the Chapter 11 filing in federal bankruptcy court for the southern district of Florida.

"Given the financial condition of the Bank, it is unlikely that the Company will be entitled to any distribution from the FDIC," BankUnited Financial wrote in its announcement of the filing.

The seizure is expected to cost the FDIC $4.9 billion, making it the second-largest hit to the insurance fund since the financial crisis began hitting banks last year.

Federal regulators said on Thursday that BankUnited FSB reported $1.2 billion in losses last year as loan defaults mounted. It was the 34th federally insured institution to be closed this year, and the biggest.

The FDIC said on Thursday that it will insure deposits at the bank, and that customers can continue to use BankUnited FSB checks, ATM cards and debit cards.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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