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U.S. Bank Failures Near 100 Mark

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By Jake Bernstein, ProPublica.

The FDIC shuttered California's San Joaquin Bank on Friday, putting the total number of bank failures for the year at 99. (See ProPublica's failed bank list.) 

The pace of failures has slowed somewhat in recent weeks even as the outlook for small banks remains grim. Regulators continue to worry about the concentration and condition of commercial real estate loans that banks are carrying on their books. Home foreclosures are at a record high.

As of June, the FDIC had 416 banks on its problem bank list. It does not reveal the names of those on the list. The blog Calculated Risk has named names on its own problem bank list. That list has 479 members and is based in part on enforcement orders. 

The FDIC entered into an agreement with Citizens Business Bank of Ontario, Calif., to take San Joaquin's deposits and most of its assets. As of Sept. 29, 2009, San Joaquin had total assets of $775 million and total deposits of approximately $631 million, according to the FDIC.

The FDIC estimates that the failure of San Joaquin Bank will cost its deposit insurance fund about $103 million.

In recent months regulators have prodded executives at San Joaquin Bank to shore up their capital reserves. At one point in July, it looked like investors in India -- the bank serves a large Indian clientele -- might come to the rescue, but the deal apparently couldn't vault regulatory hurdles, according to The Bakersfield Californian. As recently as Wednesday, bank executives were hopeful that regulators would continue to give them more time to raise money.

 

Jake Bernstein is a reporter for ProPublica, America's largest investigative newsroom.