August 8, 2009 / 2:10 AM / 10 years ago

U.S. regulators close 3 banks, total now 72

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bank regulators closed three banks on Friday, bringing the number of failures so far this year to 72 as the weakened economy takes its toll on the financial services sector.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp estimated the three closures would cost its deposit fund a total of about $185 million.

In 2008, 25 U.S. banks were seized by officials, up from only 3 in 2007.

During the current financial crisis, Seattle-based lender Washington Mutual became the biggest bank to fail in U.S. history. It was closed in September while suffering from losses from soured mortgages and liquidity problems.

Customers can access their money over the weekend by check, teller machine or debit card, the FDIC said.

The FDIC will insure up to $250,000 per account.

The agency also has running a tally of problem banks that its examiners closely monitor. At the end of the first quarter, 305 undisclosed institutions were on that list.

Friday’s closures were:

* First State, Florida, which had $463 million in assets and $387 million in deposits. The failure is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund an estimated $116 million.

The FDIC said Stearns Bank, National Association, agreed to assume the insured deposits of First State, whose nine branches will reopen on Monday as branches of Stearns Bank, N.A.

* Community National Bank, Florida, which had $97 million in assets and $93 million in deposits. The failure is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund an estimated $24 million.

The FDIC said Stearns Bank, National Association, will assume the insured deposits of the failed bank, whose four branches will reopen on Saturday as branches of Stearns Bank, N.A.

*Community First Bank, Oregon, which had $209 million in assets and $182 million in deposits. The failure is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund $45 million. The FDIC said Home Federal Bank, Idaho, will assume the insured deposits of the failed bank, whose eight branches will reopen on Monday as branches of Home Federal Bank.

Reporting by Rachelle Younglai; Editing by Nick Macfie

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