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MILTON, Fla.  (CBS4) –  Federal regulators closed a small Milton-based bank on Friday, bringing the number of U.S. bank failures this year to 71.

A notice was placed on First National Bank of Florida’s website homepage, telling customers that no advanced warnings were given and their accounts have been transferred to CharterBank of West Point, Ga. Charterbank and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. agreed to share losses on the $216.3 million loans and other assets.

The bank had $296.8 million in assets and $280.1 million in deposits.

The failure of First National Bank of Florida is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund $46.9 million.

The pace of closures has eased in 2011 as the economy has slowly improved and banks work their way through the bad debt accumulated in the recession. By this time last year, regulators had shuttered 119 banks.

Florida has been one of the hardest-hit states for bank failures. Regulators shuttered 29 lenders in Florida last year. First National Bank of Florida was the 11th bank to fail in the state this year.

California, Georgia and Illinois also have seen large numbers of bank failures.

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 around $21 billion. The FDIC has said 2010 likely marked the peak for bank failures from the Great Recession.

In 2009, there were 140 bank failures that cost the insurance fund about $36 billion, a higher price tag 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 $76.8 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 this year; it stood at $3.9 billion as of June 30.

Depositors’ money — insured up to $250,000 per account — is not at risk, with the FDIC backed by the government. That insurance cap was made permanent in the financial overhaul law enacted in July 2010.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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