US authorities closed a Washington state bank yesterday, a move that brought the total number of foreclosures in 2011 to 44.
According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, state authorities closed First Heritage Bank in Snohomish, Washington.
The five branches of First Heritage would reopen on Tuesday as branches of Columbia State Bank, and depositors would automatically become depositors of Columbia, the FDIC said in a statement.
In 2010, 157 banks failed after failure of 140 banks in 2009. The bulk of the failures were smaller institutions, having less than $1 billion in assets, with large banks recovering more quickly from the 2007-2009 financial crisis.
First Heritage had $174 million in total assets. According to Sheila Bair the number of failures is expected to drop in 2011.
Community banks are struggling in the weak economy with many facing problems due to their exposure to the commercial real estate market.
On 24May, the FDIC released its latest quarterly update on the health of the banking industry, which reveals profits are at their highest level since the financial crisis took hold and that the pace of bank failures had eased.
According to the FDIC, the industry earned $29 billion in the first quarter, a $11.6 billion increase from a year before which was the highest level since the second quarter of 2007.