Small And Mid-Sized Regional Banks Continue To Suffer

by Christopher Maag

The largest bank in New Mexico failed late last week and was taken over by federal regulators. It was the 17th bank failure so far in 2011, according to a list published by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, indicating that problems continue for some small and mid-sized regional banks.

First Community Bank of Taos, N.M., was the largest bank in New Mexico, and the biggest bank taken over yet in 2011 by the FDIC. The bank had $2.3 billion in assets, and the takeover will cost the federal insurance fund $500 million. The FDIC sold First Community to U.S. Bank, which will gain all of First Community’s 38 branches.

Another bank seized last week by the FDIC, FirsTier of Colorado, failed to find a buyer. The takeover will cost the FDIC $242 million. The FDIC will hold the bank, which had $781 million in assets, until it can find a bank to buy it.

Of the 17 banks taken over by the FDIC so far this year, five were in Georgia, two were in Florida and two in Colorado.

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