Three Banks Including Corus Fail

WASHINGTON ( TheStreet) -- Regulators closed banks in Illinois, Minnesota and Washington State Friday, bringing the U.S. total of failed banks and thrifts during 2009 to 92.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency shut down Corus Bank NA of Chicago, a subsidiary of Corus Bankshares ( CORS). The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver and sold the failed bank's deposits and branches to MB Financial Bank, a subsidiary of MB Financial ( MBFI). Please see TheStreet.com's earlier coverage for details on the long decline and failure of Corus Bank.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Department of Commerce took over Brickwell Community Bank of Woodbury, Minn. and appointed the FDIC receiver. The FDIC then sold Brickwell's deposits and most of its assets to CorTrust Bank NA of Mitchell, S.D. Brickwell Community Bank had $72 million in total assets. It's sole office was set to reopen Saturday as a CorTrust Branch. The FDIC agreed to share in any losses on the $65 million in assets acquired by CorTrust and projected the cost to its insurance fund would be $22 million.

State regulators closed Venture Bank of Lacey, Wash. The FDIC was appointed receiver and sold the failed institution's deposits and branches to First-Citizens Bank & Trust of, Raleigh, N.C., a subsidiary of First Citizens Bancshares ( FCNCA). Venture Bank had $970 million in total assets. First Citizens acquired $874 million in assets from the failed bank, with the FDIC agreeing to share in losses on $715 million. Venture Bank's 18 branches were scheduled to reopen Saturday as branches of First Citizens. The FDIC estimated the cost to its insurance fund would be $298 million.

All three failed banks were included in TheStreet.com's list of undercapitalized banks and thrifts, based on preliminary second-quarter data. Corus and Brickwell were technically insolvent as of June 30, with negative capital positions.

Of the 89 institutions on a previous list published by TheStreet.com in late May, 42 have failed.

Ongoing Bank Failure Coverage

All failures for 2008 and 2009 through last week are detailed in TheStreet.com's interactive bank failure map:

Georgia leads all states with 23 bank or thrift failures during 2008 and 2009, followed by Illinois with 17, California with 14, Florida with eight and Nevada with five.

J.P. Morgan Chase ( JPM), which acquired Washington Mutual, the largest-ever bank or thrift to fail in the U.S., is among the large bank holding companies that have acquired failed institutions during 2008 and 2009. Others include SunTrust Banks ( STI); Regions Financial ( RF); Fifth Third Bancorp ( FITB); U.S. Bancorp ( USB); Zions Bancorp ( ZION); PNC Financial ( PNC); and BB&T ( BBT).

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.

All three banks that failed this week had been assigned an E-minus (Very Weak) rating.

In addition, the Financial Strength Ratings for 4,000 life, health, annuity and property/casualty insurers are available on the Insurers & HMOs Screener.

TheStreet.com Ratings also provides award-winning stock ratings, which are available on the Stock Ratings Screener.

TheStreet.com Ratings was recently ranked the No. 1 independent stock selector during the market meltdown by BNY ConvergEx Group's BNY Jaywalk.

-- Reported 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.

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