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Ailing California Still Has Strong Banks

Stocks in this article: BAC JPM USB

SACRAMENTO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- California, a state at the forefront of the real-estate boom and bust, had 15 banks that were in strong shape in the most recent reporting period.

The state has had 14 banks and thrifts shut by regulators this year and last, trailing only Georgia, with had 24 failures, and Illinois, with 17. California was home to 307 banks, and savings and loans as of June 30, the latest period for which there was complete information.

The most recent California failure was Affinity Bank, which was closed Aug. 28. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. sold Affinity's deposits to PacWest Bancorp (PACW).

The largest failure in the state was IndyMac Bank, which had $31 billion in assets when it was taken into receivership in July 2008. That was also the costliest failure for the FDIC during the current crisis, with the agency's insurance fund bearing costs of $10.7 billion.

Other significant California bank and thrift failures included Downey Savings and PFF Bank & Trust, both of which were shut last November, with their deposits and branches acquired by U.S. Bancorp (USB), and Vineyard Bank, which failed on July 18 and had its retail deposits acquired by Zions Bancorporation (ZION).

Please see's newly-enhanced interactive Bank Failure Map for a summary of failed banks and thrifts for 2008 and 2009.

Strongest California Banks and Thrifts

Based on June 30 financial reports, 15 California institutions were rated B-plus (good) or higher, down from 18 the previous quarter. In June 2007, there were 95 banks and thrifts in California rated B+ or higher.

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