WASHINGTON ( TheStreet) -- State and federal regulators closed seven community banks in five states Friday, bringing the total number of failed U.S. banks and thrifts this year to 106. All seven institutions had been assigned E-minus (very weak) financial strength ratings by TheStreet.com ratings, and all seven were included in TheStreet.com's list of undercapitalized banks and thrifts, based on second-quarter data. The Office of Thrift Supervision closed Partners Bank of Naples, Fla. and appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. receiver. The FDIC arranged for Stonegate Bank ( SGBK) of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to assume all of the failed institution's $65 million in deposits and all of its $65 million in assets. Partners Bank's two offices were scheduled to reopen Monday as Stonegate branches. The FDIC estimated the cost to its insurance fund would be $28.6 million. Georgia regulators took over American United Bank of Lawrenceville, Ga. The FDIC was appointed receiver and sold all of the failed bank's deposits (totaling $101 million) and assets to Ameris Bank of Moultrie, Ga., a subsidiary of Ameris Bancorp ( ABCB). American United's office was set to reopen Monday as an Ameris branch. The FDIC agreed to share in losses on $92 million of the $111 million in total assets Ameris acquired from the failed institution and estimated the loss to the agency's insurance fund would be $44 million. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency closed Flagship National Bank of Bradenton, Fla. As is always the case in domestic bank failures, the FDIC was appointed receiver, after which the agency arranged for First Federal Bank of Florida of Lake City, Fla., to take over the failed bank's deposits, which totaled $175 million, along with assets totaling $190 million. Flagship's four branches were to reopen as First Federal branches Monday. The FDIC agreed to share in losses on $130 million of the assets acquired by First Federal and estimated the cost to its insurance fund would be $59 million.
The third Florida bank to fail Friday was Hillcrest Bank Florida of Naples, which was closed by state regulators, with the FDIC selling the failed institution's $84 million in deposits to Stonegate Bank. Hillcrest Bank Florida had $83 million in total assets. In addition to the deposits, Stonegate acquired $28 million in assets, with the FDIC retaining the rest for later disposition and estimating $45 million in costs to its insurance fund. Hillcrest had six branches, all of which were set to reopen Monday as branches of Stonegate Bank. The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions took over Bank of Elmwood of Racine, Wis. The FDIC sold the failed bank's $273 million in deposits Try City National Bank of Oak Creek, Wis. Bank of Elmwood's five branches were scheduled to reopen Saturday as branches of Try City National Bank. While the agency didn't mention a loss-share agreement on the $327 million in assets acquired by Try City, it estimated the cost to its insurance fund from Bank of Elmwood's failure would be $101.1 million. State regulators shuttered Riverview Community Bank of Ostego, Minn. The FDIC sold the failed institution's $80 million in deposits and $108 million in total assets to Central Bank of Stillwater, Minn., with the FDIC agreeing to share in losses on $75 million of the acquired assets. Riverviews's two offices were set to reopen as branches of Central Bank on Saturday. The FDIC estimated the cost to its insurance fund would be $20 million. Lastly, Illinois regulators closed First DuPage Bank of Westmont Ill. The FDIC sold the failed bank's $254 million in deposits and $279 million in total assets to First Midwest Bank of Itasca, Ill., a subsidiary of First Midwest Bancorp ( FMBI). First DuPage's office was scheduled to reopen Saturday as a First Midwest Branch. The FDIC agreed to share in losses on $247 million in assets acquired by First Midwest and estimated the cost to its insurance fund would be $59 million.
Ongoing Bank Failure CoveragePassing the mark of 100 failed banks and thrifts for 2009 was an important enough milestone that FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair posted a video message on the agency's website, to reassure depositors that their insured deposits would be safe. All previous bank and thrift failures for 2008 and 2009 are detailed in TheStreet.com's interactive bank failure map. Georgia leads all states with 25 bank or thrift failures during 2008 and 2009, followed by Illinois with 18, California with 15 and Florida with 11. 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 RatingsLast year the FDIC curtailed the likelihood of bank failures by temporarily increasing the agency's basic limit on individual deposit insurance coverage to $250,000 from $100,000. This increase has been extended through 2013. The FDIC also temporarily waived all deposit insurance limits for business transaction accounts (checking accounts). This waiver is set to expire on June 30, 2010, after which business checking accounts will go back to the $100,000 deposit insurance limits. This means it will be more important than ever for business and municipal entities such as school districts to carefully monitor the health of their banks. It's very easy to have more than $100,000 of somebody else's money flowing through a business account.
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. 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.