Colorado's United Western Among Four U.S. Banks Closed Down by Regulators

United Western Bancorp’s Denver- based lender with more than $2 billion in assets was seized by the Office of Thrift Supervision, the largest of four U.S. banks shut down today.

First Citizens BancShares Inc., based in Raleigh, North Carolina, acquired United Western’s assets, deposits of $1.65 billion and eight branches, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said today in a statement on its website. Banks in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia were also seized.

Today’s closures cost the FDIC’s deposit-insurance fund a total of $454.9 million. Regulators have closed 329 banks since the start of 2008. Lenders are failing after the financial crisis drove down home and commercial property values and pushed the unemployment rate above 10 percent.

The FDIC said in November that its list of “problem” banks -- those at heightened risk of failure -- grew by 3.7 percent to 860 in the third quarter, the most in 17 years. Banks on the confidential list had $379.2 billion in assets as of Sept. 30, down from $403 billion three months earlier.

CommunitySouth Financial Corp.’s bank based in Easley, South Carolina, was shut by a state regulator, the FDIC announced. Newly chartered CertusBank will assume the failed lender’s $402 million in deposits and about $440 million in assets, and take over six branches.

Bank of Asheville in North Carolina was seized by the state banking regulator, according to an FDIC statement. First Bancorp, based in Troy, North Carolina, acquired the bank’s $188 million in deposits and about $195 million in assets, as well as five retail branches, the FDIC said.

The FDIC said it created a deposit-insurance bank to handle accounts for customers of Enterprise Banking Co. of McDonough, Georgia, which was shut by a state regulator. The interim bank will be open until Jan. 28, allowing customers to withdraw their insured deposits.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Eichenbaum in New York at peichenbaum@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net

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