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Regulators Shut Guaranty Bank, 2nd Largest Failure

MARCY GORDON

WASHINGTON (AP) ¿ Regulators on Friday shut down Guaranty Bank, a big Texas-based lender felled by losses on loans to homebuilders and borrowers, in the second-largest U.S. bank failure this year.

Guaranty's failure, along with those of three banks in Georgia and Alabama Friday, brought to 81 the number of U.S. bank failures in 2009, a mounting toll and the most in a year since 1992 at the height of the savings-and-loan crisis.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized Guaranty Bank, with about $13 billion in assets and $12 billion in deposits, and sold all of its deposits and $12 billion of the assets to BBVA Compass, the U.S. division of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, Spain's second-largest bank. It was the first foreign bank to buy a failed U.S. bank. In addition, the FDIC agreed to share losses with BBVA on about $11 billion of Guaranty Bank's assets.

The collapse of Austin-based Guaranty Bank, whose parent company was Guaranty Financial Group Inc., was the 10th-largest bank failure in U.S. history. It is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund an estimated $3 billion.

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