Bank failures in Florida have cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. the most money of any state in 2010, according a report by Condo Vultures released Tuesday. The real estate consultancy firm said the 29 bank failures have cost about $2.1 billion in losses to the FDIC’s deposit insurance fund, or about 10% of the $22.2 billion in losses so far in 2010. Since 2008, when the housing bubble burst, 45 Floridian banking institutions have closed for a total loss of $9.7 billion, or 14% of the $69.1 billion total write-off nationwide since that year. Peter Zalewski, a principal at Condo Vultures, said this data should come as no surprise. “Consider that 185,000 condominium units — including more than 22,000 in greater downtown Miami – were created alone in the Tri-county South Florida region since 2003,” Zalewski said. The Tri-county Florida area encompasses the Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. “It is worth noting the FDIC has been preparing for a rash of Florida bank failures, which is why it opened a 500-person bank seizure and asset sales office in the north Florida city Jacksonville in 2009.” In May of last year, the FDIC opened this center to “keep temporary asset resolution staff closer to the concentration of failed bank assets they oversee,” according to a press release. Once work diminishes in the region where the office is stationed, the office is closed. The FDIC said the Jacksonville satellite office receives a ton of work, as it essentially handles bank closings in the Eastern third of the U.S. FDIC Representative David Barr said the agency does not predict when these offices will close because it is too difficult, but when the office does close it is a good thing. “It means the banking and financial situation has stabilized around that area,” Barr said. The other two centers are located in Irvine, Calif. and Schaumberg, Ill. According to the Condo Vultures report, the Jacksonville center is unlikely to close soon. Georgia, which is in the same region as Florida, currently leads the nation in bank closings since 2008 at a total of 46 failed institutions. Florida is second with 45, followed by Illinois (38), California (34) and Minnesota (15). In total, the FDIC has closed 317 banks in 40 states and Puerto Rico since 2008. The total number of bank failures for 2010 stands at 157, up from 140 in 2009. Write to Christine Ricciardi.
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