3 bank failures bring US 2012 total to 46

WASHINGTON (AP) — Regulators on Friday closed two small banks in Florida and one in Missouri, bringing to 46 the number of U.S. bank failures this year.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized GulfSouth Private Bank and First East Side Savings Bank, both in Florida. Regulators also shuttered Excel Bank in Missouri.

Regulators arranged for lenders to assume the deposits and purchase essentially all the assets of each of the failed banks.

Even so, the three bank failures are expected to cost the deposit insurance fund $86.1 million.

U.S. bank closures are running at a much slower pace than in 2011. By this time last year, 80 banks had failed.

GulfSouth, based in Destin, had about $159.1 million in assets and $151.1 million in deposits as of June 30.

SmartBank, based in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., agreed to assume GulfSouth's deposits and purchase its assets.

Regulators arranged for Stearns Bank NA in St. Cloud, Minn., to buy First East Side's $67.2 million in assets. Stearns also assumed the Tamarac-based lender's $65.9 million in deposits.

Excel Bank, based in Sedalia, had $200.6 million in assets and $187.4 million in deposits.

Simmons First National Bank, based in Pine Bluff, Ark., purchased Excel's assets and agreed to take on its deposits.

The FDIC entered into a loss-share transaction with Simmons on $126.6 million of Excel's assets.

Bank closures peaked in 2010 in the wake of the financial crisis. In 2007, just three banks went under. That number jumped to 25 in 2008, after the meltdown, and ballooned to 140 in 2009.

In 2010, regulators seized 157 banks, the most in any year since the savings and loan crisis two decades ago. The FDIC has said 2010 likely was the high-water mark for bank failures from the Great Recession. They declined to a total of 92 in 2011.

From 2008 through 2011, bank failures cost the deposit insurance fund an estimated $88 billion. The fund fell into the red in 2009. But with failures slowing, the fund's balance turned positive in the second quarter of last year. By June 30, it stood at $22.7 billion, up from $15.3 billion at the end of March.

The FDIC expects bank failures from 2012 through 2016 to cost $10 billion.