Bank failures for 2010 surpass last year's total

Regulators seized four more banks Friday, including Pierce Commercial Bank, which received $6.8 million in taxpayer aid through the Troubled Asset Relief Program in January 2009.

The latest round of closings pushed the total for the year to 143, topping the figure for all of 2009.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. arranged for Heritage Bank, of Olympia, Wash., to take over Pierce Commercial's sole branch, along with its $193.5 million in deposits and $221.1 million in assets.

Pierce Commercial, which was based in Tacoma, had been operating since June under a "prompt corrective action'' order that called for it to raise additional capital or find a buyer or merger partner.

The other banks shut down Friday were K Bank, of Randallstown, Md.; Western Commercial Bank, of Woodland Hills, Calif; and First Vietnamese American Bank, of Westminster, Calif.

K Bank was the biggest of this week's casualties. Manufacturers and Traders Trust Co., the parent company of M&T Bank, assumed K Bank's seven branches, its $500.1 million in deposits and $410.8 million of its assets. 

The FDIC retained $127.5 million in assets for later disposition.

First California Bank, of Westlake Village, Calif., agreed to take over Western Commercial's lone branch, along with its $101.1 million and $98.6 million in assets.

Grandpoint Bank, based in Los Angeles, absorbed First Vietnamese American, which also was a single-branch institution. That failed bank had $47 million in deposits and $48 million in total assets.

The FDIC said the four closings would cost its deposit insurance fund an estimated $256.5 million, with K Bank accounting for nearly $200 million of that total.

Pierce Commercial's parent company, Pierce County Bancorp., had not repaid its TARP aid at the time of the bank's closing, meaning the Treasury Department will likely never see that money again.

Pierce County Bancorp also had missed at least four quarterly dividend payments on the stock it issued the government in return for the TARP aid.

Pierce Commercial was the fifth TARP bank to be closed by regulators. A sixth TARP recipient, CIT Group Inc., reorganized in bankruptcy court, wiping out Treasury's $2.3 billion investment in that company, which specialized in commercial lending.

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