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Regulators Close Ga. Bank; 95th US Failure In '09

MARCY GORDON

WASHINGTON (AP) ¿ Regulators on Friday shut down Atlanta-based Georgian Bank, the 95th U.S. bank to fail this year as loan defaults rise in the worst financial climate in decades.

In coming months, more banks are expected to buckle under the weight of commercial real estate and other loans that go sour. Those failures could imperil the insurance fund for deposits, already at the lowest point in nearly 20 years.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over Georgian Bank, with about $2 billion in assets and $2 billion in deposits as of July 24. First Citizens Bank and Trust Co., based in Columbia, S.C., agreed to assume the assets and deposits of the failed bank. Georgian Bank's five branches will reopen Monday as offices of First Citizens Bank.

In addition, the FDIC and First Citizens Bank agreed to share losses on Georgian Bank's roughly $2 billion in loans and other assets.

The failure of Georgian Bank is expected to cost the federal deposit insurance fund an estimated $892 million. The fund has been so diminished by the wave of collapsing banks that some analysts have warned it could sink into the red by year's end.

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