Banks Fail in Georgia, Arizona

WASHINGTON ( TheStreet) - State regulators closed two Banks in Georgia and one in Arizona Friday, bringing this year's bank failure tally to 146.

All three of this week's failed banks were previously included in TheStreet's Bank Watch List of undercapitalized institutions, based on preliminary third-quarter regulatory data provided by SNL Financial.

Ameris Bank Acquires Two More Georgia Institutions

The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance shut down Tifton Banking Company of Tifton, which had $143.7 million in total assets and Darby Bank & Trust of Vidalia, which had $654.7 million in assets.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver and arranged for Ameris Bank of Moultrie, Ga. to acquire both failed institutions. Ameris Bank is the main subsidiary of Ameris Bancorp ( ABCB), and its previous two failed-bank acquisitions were Bank Watch List, Fla. in October and Satilla Community Bank of St. Marys, Ga. in May.

The FDIC agreed to share in 80% of losses on $560.2 million of the assets acquired by Ameris Bank. The failed banks' offices were scheduled to reopen during normal hours as Ameris branches and the acquiring bank said all of its branches had already completed systems changes allowing other Ameris branches to process transactions for the failed banks' customers.

Ameris Bank was also was set to honor ATM and debit card transactions, as well as process check transactions for the failed banks' depositors over the weekend.

The FDIC estimated the cost to the deposit insurance fund from Tifton Banking Company's failure would be $24.6 million and the cost estimate for Darby Bank and Trust's failure was $136.2 million.

Copper Star Bank

The Superintendent of the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions shuttered Copper Star Bank of Scottsdale. The FDIC was appointed receiver and sold the failed bank's total deposits of $190.2 million for a 1% premium to Stearns Bank, NA of St. Cloud, Minnesota. Stearns also agreed to take on the failed institution's $204 million in total assets, with the FDIC agreeing to absorb 80% of losses on $165.2 million of the acquired assets.

Copper Star's three branches were set to reopen as branches of Stearns Bank, NA on Monday. The FDIC estimated the cost of the bank closure would be $43.6 million.

Thorough Bank Failure Coverage

All bank and thrift closures since the beginning of 2008 are detailed in TheStreet's interactive bank failure map:

The bank failure map is color-coded, with the states having the greatest number of failures highlighted in dark gray, and states with no failures in light green. By moving your mouse over a state you can see its combined 2008-2010 totals. Then click the state to open a detailed map pinpointing the locations and providing additional information for each bank failure.

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-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

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Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for TheStreet.com Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., 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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