US bank failures top 100 for year

BBC News (Link) (October 24, 2009)

The number of US bank failures this year has topped more than 100 after US federal regulators shut down a trio of small Florida banks.

Bank failures have cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) fund that insures deposits an estimated $25bn this year.

More US banks have now failed this year than in any year since 1992.

The number is expected to rise as banks continue to suffer from the bad loans that precipitated the financial crisis.

Savers' money is not in danger, as the FDIC, which is backed by the US government, insures deposits at failed banks for up to $250,000 per account.

Many of the banks that have failed have been small community banks, which were badly hit when loans to individuals and small businesses were not repaid after the onset of the crisis.

These were primarily deposit-taking banks, rather than investment banks that deal in complicated derivative products.

But these investment banks have also been hit hard, with the most high profile victim being Lehman Brothers, which collapsed in September last year.

Days later, another of Wall Street's most famous banks, Merrill Lynch, was saved from collapse when it was bought out by Bank of America.