New Bank Failures: Week of Jan. 11 - TheStreet

New Bank Failures: Week of Jan. 11

Horizon Bank of Bellingham, Wash, was the first new bank failure of 2010.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Horizon Bank

of Bellingham, Wash, was the first

new bank failure

of 2010.

A total of 140 institutions failed during 2009. All 165 bank failures since the beginning of 2008 are detailed on TheStreet.com's interactive bank failure map:

TheStreet.com Ratings is expecting

bank failures

to accelerate this year, because of mounting nonperforming commercial real estate loans and because of a return to regulator deposit insurance limits for non-interest-bearing checking accounts in the second half of the year.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has been providing loss-sharing guarantees to many banks acquiring failed institutions. With the agency left holding the bag on the majority of the loan losses on the assets of failed banks, it is widely expected that the FDIC will make more deals that provide the government with some upside potential when the shares of acquiring bank holding companies rise. When

New York Community Bancorp

(NYB)

acquired the deposits and some of the assets of the failed

AmTrust Bank

of Cleveland, the company issued an equity appreciation instrument that reportedly netted the FDIC $23 million.

After Washington state regulators shut down

Horizon Bank

, the FDIC was appointed receiver and arranged for

Washington Federal

(WFSL)

of Seattle to take assume the failed bank's deposits and $1.3 billion in total assets, with the agency agreeing to share in losses on $1 billion of the acquired assets. The FDIC estimated that the cost to the deposit insurance fund would be $539 million.P/>

Georgia

continues to lead all states with 30 bank or thrift failures from 2008 through Friday, followed by

Illinois

and

California

with 22 each, and

Florida

with 16 failures.

Free Financial Strength Ratings

TheStreet.com Ratings

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

Banks & Thrifts Screener

.

--

Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter Fla.

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.