WASHINGTON ( TheStreet) -- Regulators shuttered four U.S. banks on Friday, bringing the nation's tally of bank and thrift failures to 26.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was unable to find buyers for two of the failed institutions, leading to losses for depositors who had balances exceeding the agency's insurance limits.

TheStreet.com Ratings had previously assigned E-minus (Very Weak) financial strength ratings to all four banks, and all were included in TheStreet.com's list of undercapitalized banks.

Sun American Bank

The Florida Office of Financial Regulation shut down Sun American Bank of Boca Raton, Fla. and appointed the FDIC receiver. The failed bank was the main subsidiary of Sun American Bancorp ( SAMB) and had roughly $444 million in deposits and $536 million in assets, all of which were acquired by First-Citizens Bank & Trust of Raleigh, N.C., with the FDIC agreeing to share in losses on $433 million of the acquired assets.

First-Citizens is held by First Citizens BancShares ( FCNCA). This is the fourth recent acquisition of a failed bank by First-Citizens. The previous was First Regional Bank of Los Angeles., Calif., which failed on Jan. 29.

Sun American's 12 branches were set to reopen Monday as branches of First-Citizens. The FDIC estimated the cost to its insurance fund would be $103.8 million.

Bank of Illinois

Elsewhere, state regulators closed Bank of Illinois of Normal, Ill. The FDIC was appointed receiver and sold the failed bank's $199 million in total deposits for a significant premium of 3.61% to Heartland Bank & Trust of Bloomington, Ill.

Heartland Bank & Trust also agreed to assume the failed bank's $212 million in total assets, with the FDIC agreeing to share in losses on $167 million.

The two offices of Bank of Illinois were scheduled to reopen Saturday as Heartland Bank & Trust branches. The FDIC estimated the cost to its insurance fund would be $53.7 million.

Waterfield Bank

The Office of Thrift Supervision took over Waterfield Bank of Germantown Md., and appoint the FDIC receiver. Since the FDIC was unable to find a buyer for the failed thrift's $156 million in deposits and $156 million in assets, the agency created Waterfield Bank, FA a new thrift, which would operate until April 5 with the sole purpose of allowing customers to move their insured checking, money market and savings account balances to other institutions.

The FDIC was scheduled to mail checks to Waterfield Bank's depositors with CD or retirement account deposits on Monday for their insured balances. The agency estimated that the total amount of deposits exceeding insurance limits was $407,000 but cautioned that this amount was likely to be revised.

When a bank or thrift fails and uninsured deposits are not acquired by another institution, depositors become creditors to the FDIC receivership, for the amount of their uninsured balances. Any monies later recovered by a customer on the uninsured balances are called "dividends." Sometimes an "advance dividend" is immediately paid to uninsured depositors, but the FDIC did not announce such a payment in Waterfield Bank's case.

The FDIC estimated the cost to its insurance fund for Waterfield Bank's failure would be $51 million.

Centennial Bank

State Regulators in Utah closed Centennial Bank of Ogden, Utah and appointed the FDIC receiver. The FDIC was unable to find a buyer, but rather than establish a temporary bank to run off insured deposits, the agency elected to mail checks to retail customers for their insured balances on Monday and wire brokered CD deposits directly to brokers after receiving necessary documentation.

Customers with brokered CDs were advised to contact their brokers. The FDIC made arrangements with Zions First National Bank, a subsidiary of Zions Bancorp ( ZION) to accept government direct deposits, including Social Security deposits, that were directed to the failed bank.

Centennial Bank had $205 million in deposits and $215 million in total assets. The FDIC estimated that there were $1.8 million in uninsured deposits but also said the number was likely to change once it received additional information from customers. The agency estimated the cost to its insurance fund would be $96.3 million.

Ongoing Bank Failure Coverage

All previous bank and thrift failures since the beginning of 2008 are detailed in TheStreet.com's interactive bank failure map:
chart

The bank failure map is color-coded, with states having the greatest number of failures highlighted in red, and states with no failures highlighted in gray. By hovering your mouse over a state you can see the combined totals for that state. Then click the state to open a detailed map that pinpoints the locations of the failures and provides additional information.

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.

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.

-- Written 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.

If you liked this article you might like