Bank failures up in 2010, says US regulator

30 December 2010

American financial regulator the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has revealed that the number of failed banks rose in 2010, although it suggested the rate of collapses may have passed its peak.

The Wall Street Journal reports that FDIC figures published this week indicated 157 US financial firms with a total of $92.1 billion in assets failed this year, as opposed to 140 companies with assets of $169.7 billion in 2009.

"We believe that the number of failures peaked this year in 2010," said the FDIC's acting director of resolutions and receiverships Jim Wigand. "In terms of failed bank assets, that number peaked in 2008."

More banks collapsed in 2010 than in any other year since 1992, although those that failed tended to be smaller than in previous years. In its last quarterly report, published in September, the FDIC revealed it had placed 860 businesses on its "problem list".

Last week, Citigroup chief economist Dr Willem Buiter warned in a Daily Telegraph interview that the eurozone could be hit with a fresh wave of financial unrest next year, with some banks badly hit by the ongoing sovereign debt crisis.

By Asim Shah

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