Business, Economics and Jobs

Regulators close three U.S. banks

Federal regulators closed three banks in Indiana, South Carolina and Virginia on Friday, causing the total number of failed banks nationwide so far this year to rise to 61.

Still, an average of 13 U.S. banks failed per month in 2010; in 2011, it’s down to 9 banks per month closing, according to RTT News. Last year, a total of 157 banks closed.

The three recently-shut banks were Evansville, Ind.-based Integra Bank NA, with 52 branches, $2.2 billion in assets and $1.9 billion in deposits; Virginia Business Bank, with $85 million in deposits and about $95.8 million in assets; and BankMeridian NA in Columbia, S.C., with $215 million in deposits and $239.8 million in assets, Reuters reports.

All three were small community banks, many of which have taken a beating in the weak economy and have exposure to the troubled commercial real estate market. Most of the other banks that have failed so far this year have had less than $1 billion in assets.

"Banks with excess capital and few loan problems will be the leaders as the economy continues to recover," Kent Engelke, chief economic strategist at Capitol Securities Management Inc. in Henrico County, told the Richmond Times Dispatch.

Evansville, Ind.-based Old National Bancorp will take over Integra Bank; Xenith Bank of Richmond will take over Virginia Business Bank; and Orangeburg, S.C.-based SCBT will take over BankMeridiand.

The three closures may cost the FDIC's deposit insurance fund a combined $253.4 million.

U.S. bank failures were highest in 1989, when 534 banks closed, but only two banks closed in all of 2007.