By Corbett B. Daly
U.S. bank failures reached 102 so far in 2010 on Friday as regulators seized six small banks, a faster pace of closures than last year when the century mark was not reached until October.
Bank failures are expected to peak this quarter, with the industry slowly recovering from large portfolios of bad loans, many tied to commercial real estate.
The banks seized on Friday were Sterling Bank of Lantana, Florida; Crescent Bank and Trust Company of Jasper, Georgia; Williamsburg First National Bank of Kingstree, South Carolina; Thunder Bank of Sylvan Grove, Kansas; Community Security Bank, New Prague, Minnesota and SouthwestUSA Bank of Las Vegas, Nevada, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
The largest of the six banks was Crescent Bank and Trust with 11 branches and about $1.01 billion in total assets and $965.7 million in total deposits. The smallest was Thunder Bank with two branches and just $32.6 million in total assets and $28.5 million in deposits.
The FDIC estimated the six failures would add about $394 million to the tab for its deposit insurance fund.
The FDIC late last month gave an update on the overall health of the bank industry, saying it sees improvements, but economic threats are still lurking.
The agency, which insures individual accounts up to $250,000, updated its estimates of the cost of bank failures, now expecting a $60 billion hit to its insurance fund from 2010 through 2014.
The recovery of the community bank industry has lagged the bounceback of Wall Street and the healing in the overall economy.
IBERIABANK Corp agreed to assume all of the deposits of Sterling Bank, the FDIC said.
(Reporting by Corbett B. Daly; Additional reporting by Karey Wutkowski; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)