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The financial crisis claimed another victim Friday as federal regulators shut down Ameribank, a $104 million institution based in Northfork, W. Va.

The closure marks the 12th U.S. bank failure this year,

The Wall Street Journal



a news release

, the government's Office of Thrift Supervision said it had appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as receiver.

The bank got into trouble with what the OTS described as "excessive growth" in construction rehabilitation loans, which financed the rebuilding of distressed properties, primarily in low- to moderate-income real estate markets.

The quarter ended June 30 of this year was the fourth straight quarter of net losses and capital erosion for Ameribank, according to the OTS. Regulators determined that Ameribank was "critically undercapitalized" and that the thrift was unable to develop a viable plan for restoring capital to adequate levels, the OTS added.

Ameribank became an OTS-regulated thrift in May 1997 after converting from a state-chartered commercial bank, the OTS said.

This article was written by a staff member of