Regulators close small bank in Illinois; brings US bank failures to 16 in 2014

WASHINGTON – Regulators have closed a small lender in Illinois, bringing U.S. bank failures this year to 16 after 24 closures in all of 2013.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Friday that it has taken over The National Republic Bank of Chicago, based in Chicago.

The bank, which operated two branches, had about $954.4 million in assets and $915.3 million in deposits as of June 30.

State Bank of Texas, based in Dallas, has agreed to buy about $626.1 million of the failed bank’s assets and assume all of National Republic Bank’s deposits.

National Republic Bank is the fifth FDIC-insured institution to fail in Illinois this year. Its failure is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund $111.6 million.

U.S. bank failures have been declining since they peaked in 2010 in the wake of the financial crisis and the Great Recession.

Only three banks went under in 2007. That jumped to 25 in 2008, after the financial 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 recession. They declined to 92 in 2011 and fell to 51 in 2012.

In a strong economy, about four or five banks close annually.

From 2008 through 2011, bank failures cost the deposit insurance fund an estimated $88 billion, and the fund fell into the red in 2009. With failures slowing, the fund’s balance turned positive in the second quarter of 2011.The fund had a $51.1 billion balance as of June 30.

The FDIC has said it expects bank failures from 2012 through 2016 will cost the fund $10 billion.