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Four More Banks Fail as Lawmakers Increase Scrutiny

Four banks walked the line to failure over the weekend, raising the bank collapse figure to 68 on the heels of increased public scrutiny by lawmakers over bank failures. Illinois-based First Choice Bank, Georgia-based First Southern National Bank, Florida-based Lydian Private Bank, and Pennsylvania-based Public Savings Bank all left the table, leaving the ""FDIC"":http://www.fdic.gov/ to foot the whopping $374.8-million bill.

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The FDIC found itself playing the familiar role of receiver in all four loss-share transactions and acquisitions by other banks.

The failure of Palm Beach-based Lydian Private Bank beat other banks in the rush to collapse, closing its doors with about $1.70 billion in total assets and $1.24 billion in total deposits. ""Sabadell United Bank"":https://www.sabadellunited.com/ signed its good credit and reputation to a loss-share transaction on $907.1 million of Lydian's assets, and agreed to absorb ""essentially all of the assets,"" a FDIC statement said.

├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£This is a strategic acquisition that will give us a broader geographic service area, and expanded private banking services,"" Mark Trueba, Sabadell's president and CEO, said in a statement. ""This transaction will give us locations on Florida├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós West Coast, expands our 20-year presence in Palm Beach County, and is part of our strategy to seek acquisitions and become a significant statewide bank.""

Huntingdon Valley-based Public Savings Bank went dark Thursday with $46.8 million in total assets and $45.8 million in total deposits, with ""Capital Bank, National Association"":http://www.capitalbankmd.com/, agreeing to add to most of the assets to its coffers.

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The FDIC wrote off the expenses to the tune of $11 million, following a transfer of responsibility from the ""Office of the Comptroller for the Currency"":http://www.occ.treas.gov/ (OCC), which shut down the bank.

Commenting on the acquisition in a ""statement"":http://www.capitalbankmd.com/sites/default/files/public_savings_bank_press_release.pdf, Scot Browning, president of Capital Bank, said that it ""represents a good opportunity to acquire a seasoned portfolio of performing loans and securities. We plan to promptly increase efficiency by curtailing certain operations in Pennsylvania.""

He added: ""By using these proven service delivery channels, Capital Bank will continue to serve customers of Public Savings from our offices in Rockville, Maryland.""

""First Choice Bank"":https://www.firstchoice-bank.com/ shuttered its windows Friday with $141 million in total assets and $137.2 million in total deposits. Illinois-based Bank & Trust moved to rescue the institution, assuming its deposits and reopening the one branch under its brand Saturday. The FDIC sopped up $31 million in expenses related to the failure.

Marking another collapse for failure-saddled Georgia, the OCC also closed the doors Friday to Statesboro-based ""First Southern National Bank"":https://www.fsnb.net/, passing the keys to the FDIC by naming it receiver. Albany-based Heritage Bank of the South swept into the situation to pick up the pieces, assuming $159.7 million in total deposits under a transaction agreement and purchasing $164.4 million in deposits from the bank.

With the FDIC paying $39.6 million in expenses for the failure, the cost to Georgian depositors and taxpayers remained unclear as lawmakers continued with their scrutiny of the federal regulation in the markets and the loss of wealth from bank failures.

In a statement regarding a Georgia-based field hearing last week, ""Rep. Lynn Westmoreland"":http://westmoreland.house.gov/ (R-Georgia), said that ""regulators on the ground are supposed to be using common sense├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ª [and] bankers in Georgia told us├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ª that is simply not happening.""

He added: ""What we are seeing is that banks that are ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├ï┼ôtoo big to fail' are given assistance to survive, while community banks are pushed to the side and have become ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├ï┼ôtoo small to save.'""

The four bank failures mean that 68 institutions have failed over 2011.

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.
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