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Originally published Friday, March 2, 2012 at 2:31 PM

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FDIC closes small bank in Georgia

Regulators have closed a small bank in Georgia, bringing to 12 the number of U.S. bank failures this year.

The Associated Press

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WASHINGTON —

Regulators have closed a small bank in Georgia, bringing to 12 the number of U.S. bank failures this year.

The pace of bank failures has slowed markedly, however. By this time last year, 23 had been shuttered.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Friday closed Global Commerce Bank, in Doraville, with $143.7 million in assets and $116.8 million in deposits.

Metro City Bank, also of Doraville, agreed to assume all of Global Commerce Bank's deposits and about $79 million of the failed bank's assets.

As a result, the three branches of Global Commerce Bank will reopen as branches of Metro City Bank.

The bank failure is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund $17.9 million.

Global Commerce Bank is the third FDIC-insured bank in Georgia to fail this year.

In all of 2010, regulators seized 157 banks, the most in any year since the savings and loan crisis two decades ago. Those failures cost the fund around $23 billion. The FDIC has said 2010 likely was the high-water mark for bank failures from the Great Recession. Last year, 92 banks failed costing an estimated $7.9 billion.

In 2009, there were 140 bank failures that cost the insurance fund about $36 billion, a larger sum than in 2010 because the banks involved were bigger on average. Twenty-five banks failed in 2008, the year the financial crisis struck with force; only three were closed in 2007.

From 2008 through 2010, bank failures cost the fund an estimated $79 billion. The FDIC expects failures from 2011 through 2015 to cost $19 billion.

The deposit insurance fund fell into the red in 2009. With failures slowing, the FDIC's fund balance turned positive in the second quarter of last year.

By Dec. 31, it stood at $9.2 billion, nearly 18 percent higher than three months earlier, according to the FDIC.

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