State regulators on Friday shut down five more banks, bringing the total number of failed U.S. banks and savings and loans during 2009 to 45.
This was the largest number of bank failures in one week during the 2008-2009 banking crisis.
All of the failed banks were included in
recent list of 89
The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance shut down
Community Bank of West Georgia
of Villa Rica, Ga. and appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. receiver. Because the FDIC was unable to find a buyer for the failed institution's deposits, the agency was set to begin mailing checks to depositors for their insured balances Monday morning. There were an estimated $1.1 million in uninsured deposits. FDIC spokesman David Barr told
that this amount is likely to change once the agency completes its review of the bank's deposit customer accounts.
Georgia regulators then took over
Neighborhood Community Bank
of Newnan, Ga., and appointed the FDIC receiver. This time depositors fared better, as
of West Point, Ga. agreed to purchase all of the failed bank's branches and deposits.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Department of Commerce took over
of Pine City, Minn. The FDIC was appointed receiver and sold all of Horizon Bank's deposits and branches to
Stearns Bank, NA
of St. Cloud, Minn.
Lastly, California regulators shuttered two banks:
of Irvine, Calif., and
of Los Angeles. The FDIC was named receiver in both cases and sold MetroPacific's branches and retail deposits to
of Tustin, Calif. The agency sold Mirae's branches and deposits to
Wilshire State Bank
of Los Angeles, a subsidiary of
for an interactive summary of all previous bank and savings and loan failures during 2008 and 2009.
With 14 bank and thrift failures during 2008 and 2009, Georgia tops the list of states with the most failures during the current banking crisis. It's followed by California with 11 failures, Illinois with seven, Florida with five and Nevada with four.
Large bank holding companies that have acquired failed institutions during 2008 and 2009 include
J.P. Morgan Chase
, which acquired Washington Mutual, the largest-ever bank or thrift to fail in the U.S.;
Fifth Third Bancorp
Community Bank of West Georgia
Community Bank of West Georgia was included in
because the institution's tier 1 leverage ratio was 3.58% and its total risk-based capital ratio was 5.89% as of March 31, according to SNL Financial. These ratios need to be at least 5% and 10%, respectively, for most institutions to be considered well capitalized under
The bank was assigned an E-minus (Very Weak) financial strength rating by
in March because of its weak asset quality. That was a downgrade from a D- (Weak) rating the previous quarter. Community Bank of West Georgia's ratio of nonperforming assets to total assets rose to 19.56% as of March 31. Nonperforming assets include loans that are past due 90 days or are in nonaccrual status, plus repossessed real estate.
Community Bank of West Georgia had total assets of $199 million and deposits of $183 million. The institution concentrated on construction and commercial real estate lending during the boom-and-bust real estate cycle in the Atlanta metropolitan area. This eventually led to a rapid increase in delinquencies. The bank didn't have much excess capital before the real estate crisis began to hit in the first quarter of 2008. Five straight quarters of net losses from provisions for expected loan losses and declining net interest income wiped out most of its capital.
Community Bank missed a 30-day deadline to sell itself or raise capital, set by the
in early May.
Unable to find a buyer for Community Bank of West Georgia's branches and deposits, the FDIC closed down the bank and was scheduled to begin mailing checks to depositors Monday for their insured balances. Customers with approximately $1.1 million in uninsured deposits will become creditors to the FDIC receivership. Any amounts recovered by these customers on their uninsured balances are called "dividends." No advance dividend was announced in the FDIC's press release, but it is possible that some dividends will be paid at a later date, as the agency disposes the failed bank's assets.
The FDIC estimated that the cost to its deposit insurance fund from the failure of Community Bank of West Georgia would be $85 million.
Neighborhood Community Bank
Neighborhood Community Bank was assigned an E (Very Weak) financial strength rating by
in March, a downgrade from an E-plus the previous quarter. The rating was based on December 2008 financial information.
Although it entered the real estate crisis with higher capital ratios than many other failed Georgia banks, Neighborhood Community Bank's very heavy concentration of construction and commercial real estate loans led to a situation where its provisions for loan losses wiped out earnings and capital. Evaporating interest income left little hope for the institution to earn its way back to a solid capital position.
Neighborhood Community's nonperforming assets increased to 23.24% of total assets. The bank was included in
because its tier 1 leverage ratio was 2.25% and its total risk-based capital ratio was 4.09% as of March 31.
The FDIC entered into a loss sharing agreement with CharterBank, which agreed to take over all of Neighborhood Community's deposits and most of its assets. The failed bank's four offices were scheduled to reopen during their normal business hours as branches of CharterBank.
The FDIC will share losses on about $179 million of the assets acquired by CharterBank. The agency estimated that the cost to its deposit insurance fund from the failure of Neighborhood Community bank would be $66.7 million.
Horizon Bank was assigned an E (Very Weak) financial strength rating by
in March and was included in the list of
, with tier 1 leverage and total risk-based capital ratios of just 1.10% and 2.79%, respectively, as of March 31.
Although Minnesota is not commonly associated with the boom and bust experienced in warmer states like Georgia, California, Florida and Nevada, it has it share of banks suffering from problem residential, construction and commercial real estate loans that were made when real estate prices were inflated. Even after $2.5 million in loan charge-offs -- a very high amount for a bank with just $88 million in total assets -- Horizon Bank's nonperforming assets ratio was 14.23% as of March 31. The bank's capital was nearly wiped out from its loan losses and more were looming.
Once again, depositors made out well, since Stearns Bank purchased all of Horizon's deposits, along with most of its assets. The failed bank's branches were set to reopen Saturday as branches of Stearns Bank.
The FDIC agreed to share in losses on $65.1 million of the assets acquired by Stearns, and estimated that the cost to its insurance fund from Horizon's failure would be $33.5 million.
MetroPacific Bank was assigned an E (Very Weak) financial strength rating by
in March, a downgrade from a D-minus (Weak) rating the previous quarter. With a tier 1 leverage ratio of 3.51% and a total risk-based capital ratio of 5.36% as of March 31, the bank was included in the
MetroPacific's nonperforming assets ratio was 15.76% as of March 31, with the bank charging off $4 million in nonperforming loans during the first quarter. This nearly wiped out the institution's capital. While roughly 38% of the institution's $80 million balance sheet was concentrated in commercial and industrial loans, most of the loans recently charged off were construction loans and commercial real estate loans.
Sunwest Bank agreed to purchase all of MetroPacific's retail deposits and nearly all its assets, but declined to purchase about $6 million in brokered deposits.
Customers with brokered deposits will need to wait to receive their funds, as their brokers will have to file paperwork with the FDIC before the agency can pay out the brokered CD balances.
MetroPacific's sole office will reopen as a Sunwest branch on Monday. The FDIC estimated the cost to its insurance fund from MetroPacific's failure would be $29 million.
Mirae Bank was assigned a D-minus (Weak) financial strength rating by
in September 2008, a downgrade from a C- rating the previous quarter. The final D- rating was based on December 2008 financial information that showed the institution was well capitalized, with a nonperforming assets ratio of 3.50%. Mirae Bank subsequently amended its December 2008 report, increasing its provision for loan losses by $15 million, which left the institution undercapitalized as of Dec. 31.
With a tier 1 ratio of 3.12% and a total risk-based capital ratio of 5.55% as of March 31, Mirae Bank was included in
. Although it didn't report significant loan losses during the first quarter, Mirae set aside another $6.6 million for reserves during the first quarter and reported a net loss of $7.2 million. Nonperforming assets, mainly split between commercial real estate and industrial loans, made up 6.12% of total assets as of March 31.
Mirae bank had $456 million in total assets and $362 million in deposits. Wilshire State Bank assumed all of Mirae's deposits and $456 million in assets. The failed bank's five offices were scheduled to reopen Monday as Wilshire branches.
The FDIC agreed to share losses with Wilshire on $341 million of acquired assets and estimated the cost to its insurance fund would be $50 million.
Free Financial Strength Ratings
As we have seen with the failure of Community Bank of West Georgia, there's always a chance that the FDIC will fail to find a buyer for a failed institution, and when that happens, uninsured deposit balances are at risk.
Even if your personal deposits are under FDIC insurance limits, you or someone you know are probably associated with a business, organization or government entity (such as a school district) with large deposits of somebody else's money of in a local bank. In this environment, it is a very good idea to look into the health of your bank.
For depositors shopping for high-rate CDs through brokers, it is also important to consider the health of a bank or thrift, since attractive CD rates that are locked in can be lost when an institution fails. Customers of MetroPacific bank with CD deposits made through brokers are facing this inconvenient scenario and will probably have to wait a few weeks to receive their money from their brokers.
issues independent and very conservative financial strength ratings on each of the nation's 8,500 banks and savings and loans. They are available at no charge on the
. In addition, the Financial Strength Ratings for 4,000 life, health, annuity, and property/casualty insurers are available on the
Philip W. van Doorn joined TheStreet.com 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.