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New bank failures

for the week of April 13 include Cape Fear Bank of Wilmington, N.C. and New Frontier Bank of Greeley, Colo., the 22nd and 23rd banks shuttered by regulators this year.

All 48 bank failures since the beginning of 2008 are detailed on's

interactive bank failure map:

First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Charleston, held by

First Financial Holdings

( FFCH) acquired all the deposits of Cape Fear Bank, held by

Cape Fear Bank Corp.

(CAPE) - Get Free Report


For the third time in less than a month, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was unable to simply sell a failed institution's deposits to another institution. The FDIC created the

Deposit Insurance National Bank of Greeley

, which was to operate for about 30 days and allow New Frontier's retail savings and checking depositors to move their insured balances to other institutions. The rest of New Frontier's deposits were to be returned directly to depositors or, in some cases, to brokers.

Two weeks ago,

SunTrust Bank

of Atlanta, held by

SunTrust Banks Inc.

(STI) - Get Free Report

, agreed to act as paying agent on the behalf of the FDIC receivership formed when

Omni National Bank

of Atlanta failed. The agreement covers insured retail deposits, which must be withdrawn or transferred to new SunTrust accounts by April 27. There were about $2 million in uninsured deposits which would not be paid out by SunTrust.

When a bank or savings and loan institution fails and deposit balances exceeding FDIC insurance limits are not acquired by another institution, depositors become creditors to the FDIC receivership for the amount of their uninsured balances. Any money recovered on these balances is called a "dividend." There were no advance dividends announced for New Frontier's uninsured depositors.

Not surprisingly, states at the center of the residential housing boom have produced the greatest number of failing institutions. Out of 48 bank and thrift failures since the beginning of 2008, nine were in Georgia, eight were in California and four in Florida.

The FDIC's estimated total cost to its deposit insurance fund for the bank failures during the first quarter of 2009 was $2.3 billion. Many of the failed institutions were included in's

list of

undercapitalized banks and thrifts

, which was recently updated. Ratings, recently cited for Best Stock Selection from October 2007 through February 2009 , is an independent research provider that combines fundamental and technical analysis to offer investors tremendous value in volatile times. It provides independent and very conservative financial strength ratings on each of the nation's 8,500 banks and savings and loans, which are available at no charge on the Banks & Thrifts Screener. To see how your portfolio can use this and other research, click here now!

Philip W. van Doorn joined Ratings., Inc., in February 2007. He is the senior analyst responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. He also comments on industry and regulatory trends. Mr. van Doorn has fifteen years experience, having served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Florida, and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Long Island University.