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Three more Florida banks fail, pushing total this year to 9

Bank regulators on Friday closed three banks in Florida, pushing the number of state bank failures in 2009 to nine and the total number of nationwide failures past 100.

It is the largest number of bank failures in one year since 1992, amid the savings-and-loan crisis.

In Naples, Partners Bank, a small bank with $68.7 million in assets and $63.4 million in deposits, officially became the nation's 100th bank failure of the year. Stonegate Bank, based in Fort Lauderdale, agreed to buy its deposits and assets.

Another Florida bank in Naples, Hillcrest Bank Florida, also closed Friday, becoming failure No. 102. As the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. did with Partners Bank, the agency sold portions of Hillcrest to Stonegate Bank, which assumed all of its deposits.

Finally, a Bradenton bank became Florida's third institution to fail Friday and the nation's 103rd this year. Flagship National Bank was seized by federal regulators and the FDIC sold the bulk of Flagship to First Federal Bank of Florida, Lake City, which assumed all of the bank's deposits.

Despite the flurry of failures in the state Friday — the first since Aug. 7 — more Florida banks are likely to be closed. More than 40 Florida banks still in business are rated "zero star" by Bauer Financial — its most troubled category for banks.

The failures have cost the FDIC's deposit insurance fund about $25 billion this year. Hundreds more bank failures are expected to raise the cost to about $100 billion through 2013.

Depositors' money is not in danger. The FDIC is backed by the government, and deposits are guaranteed up to $250,000 per account. But the deposit insurance fund has fallen into the red.

The bank failures this year compare with 25 last year and three in 2007. In 1992, 120 institutions collapsed during the savings-and-loan crisis. Closures peaked during that crisis in 1989, when 534 banks were shuttered.

The most severe financial crisis since the 1930s has hit banks large and small. With unemployment rising, consumer spending slack and businesses shuttered, experts say up to 400 more banks could fail in the next couple of years.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this story. Robert Trigaux can be reached at trigaux@sptimes.com.

.Fast facts

Florida bank failures in 2009

1. Ocala National Bank, Ocala

2. Riverside Bank of the Gulf Coast, Cape Coral

3. BankUnited, Coral Gables

4. Integrity Bank, Jupiter

5. First State Bank, Sarasota

6. Community National Bank of Sarasota County, Venice

7. Partners Bank, Naples

8. Hillcrest Bank Florida, Naples

9. Flagship National Bank, Bradenton

Source: FDIC

How to protect your deposits

Get details on the most recent failures plus customer tips at www.fdic.gov.

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Three more Florida banks fail, pushing total this year to 9 10/23/09 [Last modified: Monday, January 24, 2011 5:35pm]

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