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December 21, 2009

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US regulators shut thedoors at 7 more banks

REGULATORS have shut down two big California banks, as well as banks in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Illinois, bringing to 140 the number of United States banks brought down this year by the weak economy and mounting loan defaults.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp took over all seven.

Regulators last Friday shut First Federal Bank of California, based in Santa Monica, with US$6.1 billion in assets and US$4.5 billion in deposits, and the Imperial Capital Bank of La Jolla, California, with about US$4 billion in assets and US$2.8 billion in deposits.

California was one of the states hardest hit by the real estate meltdown and many banks there have suffered under the weight of soured mortgage loans.

First Federal and Imperial Capital bring to 17 the number of California banks to fail this year.

Also closing their doors last Friday were Atlanta-based RockBridge Commercial Bank; New South Federal Savings Bank, based in Irondale, Alabama; Citizens State Bank of New Baltimore, Michigan; Peoples First Community Bank of Panama City, Florida; and the Independent Bankers' Bank, based in Springfield, Illinois.

OneWest Bank of Pasadena, California, agreed to buy all the deposits and essentially all of the assets of First Federal Bank. All 39 of its branches will reopen as branches of OneWest.

Los Angeles-based City National Bank agreed to assume all of Imperial Capital's deposits and assets.


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