Regulators shutter bank in Oklahoma

WASHINGTON — Regulators have closed a small lender in Oklahoma, the second U.S. bank failure of 2014. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Friday that it has taken over The Bank of Union. BancFirst, based in Oklahoma City, has agreed to assume Bank of Union’s deposits and to buy $225.5 million of the failed bank’s assets. Bank of Union has one branch in Oklahoma City and another one about 30 miles away in El Reno, Okla. It had $331.4 million in assets and $328.8 million in deposits as of Sept. 30.

The FDIC will keep the remaining assets to try to sell later.

The bank’s failure is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund $70 million.

U.S. bank failures have been declining since they peaked in 2010 in the wake of the financial crisis and the Great Recession.

In 2007, only three banks went under. That number jumped to 25 in 2008, after the financial meltdown, and ballooned to 140 in 2009.

In 2010, regulators seized 157 banks, the most in any year since the savings and loan crisis two decades ago. The FDIC has said 2010 likely was the high-water mark for bank failures from the recession. They declined to 92 in 2011, and fell to 51 in 2012.

Last year, bank failures slowed to 24, still more than normal. In a strong economy, an average of four or five banks close annually.

From 2008 through 2011, bank failures cost the deposit insurance fund an estimated $88 billion, and the fund fell into the red in 2009. With failures slowing, the fund’s balance turned positive in the second quarter of 2011. The fund had a $40.8 billion balance as of Sept. 30, up from $37.9 billion at the end of June.

The FDIC has said it expects bank failures from 2012 through 2016 will cost the fund $10 billion.

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