Nine More Banks Bite the Dust

The bank death toll keeps rising. Nine more banks have been seized by regulators, bringing this year's total to 115, the most since 1992, when 181 banks failed in the aftermath of the savings and loan crisis. Illinois-based FBOP Corp., which failed to receive TARP money, was one of the nation's largest privately held bank holding companies. The nine banks represented nearly all of FBOP's assets, and the branches have been taken over by U.S. Bancorp, a Minnesota-based regional bank whose conservative strategy has kept it afloat. FBOP was incapacitated by bad loans and poor investments in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Banking executives see no end to the bank slaughter, though, and expect the pattern to continue well into next year.