U.S. closes three banks; 2010 failures now 154

WASHINGTON Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:53pm EST

WASHINGTON Dec 17 (Reuters) - U.S. authorities closed three banks on Friday, bringing the number of closures this year to 154.

Smaller financial institutions, in particular, continue to feel the impact of the struggling housing market, the weak economy and high unemployment numbers.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp has said it expects bank closures to peak this year after 140 closures in 2009. The bulk of this year's closures have been smaller institutions, each with less than a billion dollars in assets. Large banks have recovered more quickly from the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

The FDIC announced the following closures on Friday:

* Appalachian Community Bank of McCaysville, Georgia. Had assets of $68.2 million. Peoples Bank of East Tennessee of Madisonville, Tennessee, to assume the deposits

* Chestatee State Bank of Dawsonville, Georgia. Had assets of $244.4 million. Bank of the Ozarks of Little Rock, Arkansas, to assume the deposits

* Bank of Miami, National Association of Coral Gables, Florida. Had assets of $448.2 million. 1st United Bank of Boca Raton, Florida (FUBC.O) to assume the deposits. (Reporting by Glenn Somerville, editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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