Georgia and California contributed four of the five new bank failures last week, widening their lead over other U.S. states in the past two years.

All 70 bank failures since the beginning of 2008 are detailed on's interactive bank failure map:

Georgia leads all states with 14 bank or thrift failures during 2008 and 2009, followed by California with 11 failures, Illinois with seven, Florida with five and Nevada with four.

Georgia state regulators closed Community Bank of West Georgia of Villa Rica and Neighborhood Community Bank of Newnan on Friday. CharterBank of West Point, Ga. agreed to purchase all of Neighborhood Community's branches and deposits, but the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was unable to find a buyer for Community Bank. There were an estimated $1.1 million in uninsured deposits at the failed institution.

California regulators shuttered MetroPacific Bank of Irvine and Mirae Bank of Los Angeles. The FDIC was named receiver in both cases and sold MetroPacific's branches and retail deposits to Sunwest Bank of Tustin, Calif. The agency sold Mirae's branches and deposits to Wilshire State Bank of Los Angeles, a subsidiary of Wilshire Bancorp ( WIBC).

Minnesota regulators closed Horizon Bank of Pine City and the FDIC sold all of the failed bank's deposits and branches to Stearns Bank NA of St. Cloud, Minn.

All five failed banks were included in's recent list of 89 undercapitalized banks and thrifts.

Large bank holding companies that have acquired failed institutions during 2008 and 2009 include JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), which acquired Washington Mutual, the largest bank or thrift ever to fail in the U.S., SunTrust Banks ( STI), Regions Financial ( RF), Zions Bancorp ( ZION), Fifth Third Bancorp ( FITB), US Bancorp ( USB) and BB&T ( BBT). Ratings, recently cited for Best Stock Selection from October 2007 through February 2009, is an independent research provider that combines fundamental and technical analysis to offer investors tremendous value in volatile times. It provides independent and very conservative financial strength ratings on each of the nation's 8,500 banks and savings and loans, which are available at no charge on the Banks & Thrifts Screener. To see how your portfolio can use this and other research, click here now!.
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.

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