New Bank Failures: Week of March 30

New bank failures for the week of March 30 include Omni National Bank of Atlanta, the 21st institution to fail this year.

All 46 bank failures since the beginning of 2008 are detailed on TheStreet.com's interactive bank failure map:

For the second straight week, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was unable to simply sell a failed institution's deposits to another institution. Instead, SunTrust Bank of Atlanta, held by SunTrust Banks Inc. ( STI), agreed to act as paying agent on the behalf of the FDIC receivership.

The agreement covers insured retail deposits, which must be withdrawn or transferred to new SunTrust accounts by April 27.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 Omni's uninsured depositors in the FDIC's Friday press release.

Not surprisingly, states at the center of the residential housing boom have produced the greatest number of failing institutions. Out of 41 bank and thrift failures since the beginning of 2008, nine were in Georgia, eight were in California and four in Florida.

Omni was the second-largest Georgia bank to fail during 2008 and 2009. The largest was Integrity Bank of Alpharetta, which has $1.1 billion in total assets when it was shuttered by state regulators on Aug. 29. Integrity's deposits were acquired by Regions Financial ( RF).

Another significant Georgia failure was Haven Trust Bank of Duluth, which failed on Dec. 12, with deposits acquired by BB&T Corp. ( BBT).

Omni National was considered significantly undercapitalized as of Dec. 31, per regulatory guidelines and was included in TheStreet.com's updated list of undercapitalized banks, the second list in our recent article focusing on undercapitalized savings and loans.

TheStreet.com 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 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.

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