Regulators shut down bank in Georgia

NEW YORK - Regulators on Friday shut down Omni National Bank in Atlanta, marking the 21st failure this year of a federally insured bank.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver of the bank, the fourth to close in Georgia this year. It had $980 million in assets as of Dec. 31. The bank had branches in Atlanta and Dalton, Ga., as well as Chicago, Tampa, Fla., Houston and Dallas. It had loan production offices in Philadelphia and Birmingham, Ala.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said in a statement that losses depleted the bank of most of its capital and it would have been unable to recapitalize itself without government assistance.

The FDIC will release further information about its plans for the bank, the OCC said.

Last week, regulators shut down three banks, including another Georgia-based bank, FirstCity Bank in Stockbridge. The others were Teambank NA in Paola, Kan., and Colorado National Bank in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Mounting loan losses, rising unemployment and tumbling home prices have pressured banks during the ongoing recession, leading to a growing number of failures. Those failures have cost the FDIC's insurance fund billions of dollars. The fund stands at its lowest level in nearly a quarter-century, $18.9 billion as of Dec. 31, compared with $52.4 billion at the end of 2007.

The FDIC expects that bank failures will cost the insurance fund around $65 billion through 2013. The FDIC has increased fees and premiums in an effort to replenish the insurance fund.

The 21 bank collapses this year is already approaching the total of all of 2008, when 25 banks were shut down by regulators. Last year's closures included two of the nation's largest savings and loans, Washington Mutual Inc. and IndyMac Bancorp.

The FDIC had 252 banks and thrifts on its list of troubled institutions at the end of 2008, up from 171 in the third quarter.

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