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Regulators Close Banks In Fla., Ga., Ore., Wash.


WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Regulators on Friday shut banks in Florida, Georgia, Oregon and Washington, lifting to 108 the number of U.S. banks to fail this year as the industry has struggled to cope with mounting loan defaults and recession.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over the banks: Bayside Savings Bank in Port Saint Joe, Fla., with $66.1 million in assets; Coastal Community Bank, based in Panama City, Fla., with $372.9 million in assets; NorthWest Bank and Trust, based in Acworth, Ga., with assets of $167.7 million; Cowlitz Bank in Longview, Wash., assets of $529.3 million; and LibertyBank, based in Eugene, Ore., assets of $768.2 million.

Centennial Bank, a subsidiary of Home BancShares Inc. based in Conway, Ark., agreed to assume the assets and deposits of Bayside Savings Bank and Coastal Community Bank. State Bank and Trust Co., based in Macon, Ga., is assuming those of NorthWest Bank and Trust.

Florida and Georgia are among the states with the highest concentrations of bank collapses and where the meltdown in the real estate market brought an avalanche of soured mortgage loans. The failures of Bayside Savings Bank and Coastal Community Bank brought to 20 the number of Florida banks that have fallen this year. Northwest Bank and Trust was the 11th Georgia bank to fail. Also high on the list of failure-heavy states are California and Illinois.

Heritage Bank, based in Olympia, Wash., agreed to assume the deposits and $329.5 million of the assets of Cowlitz Bank. Home Federal Bank, based in Nampa, Idaho, is assuming the deposits and $419.7 million of the assets of LibertyBank. In both cases, the FDIC will retain the rest of the assets for eventual sale.

The failure of NorthWest Bank and Trust is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund $39.8 million. Estimated costs for the others are: Bayside Savings Bank, $16.2 million; Coastal Community Bank, $94.5 million; Cowlitz Bank, $68.9 million; and LibertyBank, $115.3 million.

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