New Bank Failures: Week of March 16

No new banks failed the week of March 9, as the total number of U.S. banks and savings and loans closed during 2009 remained at 17.
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No U.S. banks or thrifts failed in the week ended March 14, the first week in two months in which regulators did not close a financial institution.

The number of U.S. banks and savings and loans closed during 2009 remained at 17. The week ended Jan. 10 was the last week in which no banks or thrifts failed. All 42 bank failures since the beginning of 2008 are detailed on's

interactive bank failure map:

Not surprisingly, states at the center of the residential housing boom have produced the greatest number of failing institutions. Out of 42 bank and thrift failures since the beginning of 2008, eight were in California, seven in Georgia and four in Florida.

Many of the recent banks and thrifts to fail were included in's

analysis of

undercapitalized banks and thrifts

. Forty banks and eight thrifts were undercapitalized, by

regulatory standards

, based on preliminary data from Highline Financial.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s bank insurance fund totaled $18.9 billion at the end of 2008, declining $15.7 billion in the fourth quarter, as the agency handled twelve bank failures. The


also announced amendments to the restoration plan for its deposit insurance fund, including an extra 20-basis point assessment on deposits, in addition to deposit insurance premiums already being collected. The assessments will be charged on Sept. 30. Ratings issues independent and very conservative financial strength ratings on each of the nation's 8,500 banks and savings and loans. These are available at no charge on the

Banks & Thrifts Screener

. In addition, the Financial Strength Ratings for 4,000 life, health, annuity, and property/casualty insurers are available on the Insurers & HMOs Screener.

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.