Bank Closures At 120
There are now 120 banks that have been closed this year, and that total hits what I had predicted, but not written, back in April when it looked like we were averaging close to 10 closings a month. Still not close to the record, but this isn’t good stuff. It’s the most bank closings since 1992; are we sure that the Conservatives way of handling finances is the way to go?
Anyway, once again I’m not going to name all the banks, but I am going to talk about the main bank, which was United Commercial Bank of San Francisco. This was the largest bank of the group, with ties to China and marketed to the Chinese and Chinese American community. They had 63 branches, which will be taken over by East West Bancorp Inc. They had assets of over $11 billion dollars. East West now becomes the second largest independent banking system in California; congratulations to them.
Of course, the states represented with this week’s closings have all had banks closed earlier in the year. Other the California, banks in Georgia, Missouri, Michigan and Minnesota were closed this weekend, which ended up costing the FDIC $1.5 billion; not a small chunk of change. Georgia has had 21 banks close this year, and one of the oddest things about it is that only one bank has assumed more than one of these systems, that being Ameris Bank of Moultrie, GA, which assumed two. Three of the banks don’t have a name listing who assumed their assets; that’s also strange.
Actually, just for clarification, one bank system did actually assume more than one bank, but all those banks were affiliated, with just one bank in each county, and all six, closed on the same day, were assumed by State Bank and Trust Company of Pinehurst, GA. Still, with the problems Georgia has had, it’s odd that so many other banks were able to assume one branch, though, again for accuracy, two of those that assumed these banks were out of state organizations.
So, 120 and counting, with 7 weeks to go. Do you think it will hit 150?