Regulators closed two banks Friday, bringing the number of failed institutions nationwide this year to 103. A fifth of those banks come from the state of Georgia, including one of those shuttered Friday.
American United bank of Lawrenceville, like twenty other Georgia banks this year, was shut down by regulators after investing heavily in real estate loans. The closure is expected to cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 44 million dollars. David Oliver is a spokesman for the Georgia Bankers Association, and he says banks in the Metro Atlanta area are vulnerable to the ongoing economic downturn.
"It’s going to remain a challenging environment for awhile, particularly for banks with a lot of exposure to residential real estate and construction," says Oliver.
Nationwide, bank failures have cost the FDIC insurance fund some 25 billion dollars this year, with closures expected to cost 100 billion dollars over the next three years.
Oliver stresses that of Georgia's 313 banks, 89% of them are considered healthy, and that all deposits are insured by the FDIC up to 250,000 dollars.