100th Bank Failure of the Year

More banks have failed in 2009 than the rest of the decade combined. The latest data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) shows that the 100th bank of the year has shuttered its windows Friday. Partners Bank in Naples, FL became the latest victim to the economic downturn. The closing of six banks in addition to Partners were announced later Friday evening bringing the total to 106 for the year. Since the Dow and S&P peaked in October 2007, over 130 banks have met their end, with ~80% of them happening this year.

The National Bank of Commerce in Berkeley, IL and the Bank of Clark County in Vancouver, WA were the first two banks to close on January 16. Since then, Georgia has had the most failures with 20 closings this year and 5 last year. Illinois is next in line with 17 this year followed by California with 10. Twenty states have yet to see any closures.

Georgia laws have facilitated many smaller community banks over larger giants. The population boom in Atlanta led to many more opening in the past two decades, only to be unable to withstand the financial crisis of 2008-09. At the end of 2008, GA had 344 banks which was more than California, despite CA having a popluation four times that of the southeastern state.

(FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair discusses bank failures.)

Less competition in GA may help bigger banks like Bank of America , SunTrust , and Wells Fargo , which bought Wachovia, gain share.

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