State regulators shut down Bank of Wyoming of Thermopolis, Wyo. Friday, bringing the total number of failed U.S. banks and savings and loan associations during 2009 to 53. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was named receiver and sold all of the failed bank's retail deposits to Central Bank & Trust of Lander, Wyo. Please see TheStreet.com's Bank Failure Map for an interactive summary of all previous bank and savings and loan failures during 2008 and 2009.
Bank of Wyoming had just been assigned an E-minus (Very Weak) rating by TheStreet.com Ratings, based on March 31 financial results. The rating was a downgrade from the D-minus (Weak) rating, which had been assigned in December. Unlike the 12 other banks that failed over the past two weeks, Bank of Wyoming wasn't included in TheStreet.com's recent list of 89 undercapitalized banks and thrifts. That's because as of March 31, its Tier 1 leverage ratio was 4.05%, just above the 4% threshold for a bank to be considered adequately capitalized. Bank of Wyoming's risk-based capital ratio was 8.81%. Of course, in the current environment, "adequate" is not "good" when it comes to a bank's level of capital. The Tier 1-leverage and total risk-based capital ratios need to be at least 5% and 10% for most institutions to be considered well-capitalized under regulatory capital guidelines. The bank's capital was overwhelmed by charge-offs (loan losses) on commercial and industrial loans, as well as construction and commercial real estate loans. Bank of Wyoming had total assets of $70 million and deposits of $67 million. Central Bank and Trust agreed to take over all of the failed bank's deposits, except for approximately $8 million in brokered deposits. The FDIC will pay these balances directly to the brokers and advised customers who placed brokered deposits in Bank of Wyoming to contact their brokers directly.
The failed bank's office was set to reopen during normal business hours as a branch of Central Bank and Trust. The FDIC estimate the cost to its insurance fund would be $27 million. Bank of Wyoming was the first bank to fail in Wyoming state during the current crisis. Georgia ranks first among states with 14 bank or thrift failures during 2008 and 2009, followed by Illinois with 13, California with 11, 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 ( JPM), which acquired Washington Mutual, the largest-ever bank or thrift to fail in the U.S., SunTrust Banks ( STI), Regions Financial ( RF), Zions Bancorp ( ZION), Fifth Third Bancorp ( FITB), U.S. Bancorp ( USB) and BB&T Corp ( BBT).