Regulators close banks in Ga., Fla., Ark., Minn.

December 19, 2010

Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Regulators on Friday shuttered three small banks in Georgia and one each in Florida, Arkansas and Minnesota, raising to 157 the number of U.S. banks brought down this year by the struggling economy and soured loans.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over the three Georgia banks: Appalachian Community Bank of McCaysville, with $68.2 million in assets; Chestatee State Bank, based in Dawsonville, with $244.4 million in assets; and Atlanta-based United Americas Bank, with $242.3 million in assets.

The FDIC also seized Bank of Miami, based in Coral Gables, Fla., with $448.2 million in assets; First Southern Bank of Batesville, Ark., with $191.8 million in assets; and Community National Bank of Lino Lakes, Minn., with $31.6 million in assets.

Florida has been the hardest hit state for bank failures, and Georgia also has registered many shutdowns. Bank of Miami was the 29th bank to fail in Florida this year, while the failures of the three Georgia banks brought the number in that state to 21 in 2010. Other states that have seen large numbers of bank failures are California and Illinois, amid an avalanche of bad loans, especially for commercial real estate.

Peoples Bank of East Tennessee, based in Madisonville, Tenn., agreed to assume $67.5 million of the assets and most of the deposits of Appalachian Community Bank. Bank of the Ozarks, based in Little Rock, Ark., is assuming all the assets and deposits of Chestatee State Bank. State Bank and Trust Co., based in Macon, Ga., is acquiring the assets and deposits of United Americas Bank.

Boca Raton, Fla.-based 1st United Bank is assuming $442.3 million of the assets and all the deposits of Bank of Miami. Southern Bank, based in Poplar Bluff, Mo., is taking $152.8 million of the assets and all the deposits of First Southern Bank. Farmers & Merchants Savings Bank of Manchester, Iowa, is assuming the assets and deposits of Community National Bank.

In addition, the FDIC and Peoples Bank of East Tennessee agreed to share losses on $46.4 million of Appalachian Community Bank’s loans and other assets. The FDIC and Bank of the Ozarks are sharing losses on $195.3 million of Chestatee State Bank’s assets. The agency and State Bank and Trust Co. are sharing losses on $195.8 million of United Americas Bank’s assets.

The FDIC and 1st United Bank agreed to share losses on $313.5 million of Bank of Miami’s assets.

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