Seven U.S. banks closed in January as commercial real estate exposures drove more institutions in the southeast to failure, Trepp Analytics said Monday.
Trepp noted that 92 banks failed in 2011, down from 157 in 2010 and 140 failures in 2009.
In December 2011, only two banks failed.
Commercial real estate loans made up $363.5 million of the $487.7 million in nonperforming loans that weighed down the January bank failures.
Commercial loans represented 51.9% of the total nonperforming loans, or 51.9%, while construction and land loans made up $14.9 million, or 31.5%, of the nonperforming loan pool.
The banks also withered under the weight of nonperforming commercial and industrial loans, which made up $80 million of the nonperforming loan pool.
Five of the seven failed banks are located in the southeast, a region that has been riddled with bank failures in the past five years.
The banks that failed in January include BankEast in Tennessee; Patriot Bank Minnesota in Minn.; Tennessee Commerce Bank; First Guaranty Bank and Trust Co. of Jacksonville; American Eagle Savings Bank of Pa.; First State Bank in Ga.; and Central Florida State Bank.