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Bank Failures May Accelerate in 2010

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- With three banks that were shuttered Friday, there have been 133 U.S. bank and thrift failures this year, more than five times as many as in 2008. Tougher regulations may accelerate the pace next year.

The implosion of several large residential mortgage lenders in 2008 gave way to troubled community lenders, which were hobbled by commercial-construction and real-estate loans that soured.

All bank and thrift failures for 2008 and 2009 are detailed in's interactive bank-failure map:


The bank-failure map is color-coded, with states having the greatest number of failures highlighted in red, and states with none in gray. Rolling over a state reveals combined 2008-2009 totals. Pinpointing the locations provides additional information.

During 2009, many failed institutions were sold to healthier banks, with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. agreeing to share in losses on acquired assets. Holding companies taking advantage of generous terms include New York Community Bancorp (NYB), which took over deposits and some assets of AmTrust on Dec. 5.

Making multiple purchases were U.S. Bancorp (USB - Get Report), Zions Bancorp (ZION - Get Report), First Financial (FFBC - Get Report), Great Southern (GSBC - Get Report), IBERIABANK (IBKC - Get Report) and MB Financial (MBFI - Get Report).

Government efforts to limit failures

When federal regulators shut down IndyMac Bank in July 2008, depositors lost an estimated $540 million on uninsured balances. That was the costliest failure for depositors in the current credit cycle.

Despite the vast increase in the number of bank and thrift failures, losses to depositors with uninsured balances have totaled $60 million this year based on initial FDIC estimates, a fraction of the $609 million in 2008. The decline reflected the temporary increase in deposit-insurance limits and the requirement that healthier banks must acquire all deposits from failed institutions.
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