WASHINGTON (AP) - Guaranty Bank became the second-largest U.S. bank to fail this year after the Texas lender was shut down by regulators and most of its operations sold at a loss of billions of dollars for the U.S. government to a major Spanish bank.
The transaction approved by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. marked the first time a foreign bank has bought a failed U.S. bank.
The bank failure, the 10th largest in U.S. history, is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund an estimated $3 billion.
The FDIC seized Austin-based Guaranty Bank, with about $13 billion in assets and $12 billion in deposits, and on Friday sold all of its deposits and $12 billion of its assets to BBVA Compass, the U.S. division of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, Spain's second-largest bank. In addition, the FDIC agreed to share losses with BBVA on about $11 billion of Guaranty Bank's loans and other assets.
Guaranty Bank, with 162 branches in Texas and California, saw its investments in real estate lending and mortgage-backed securities bought from other banks sour and had been teetering near collapse for weeks. Its parent, Guaranty Financial Group Inc. (GFG), reaffirmed Monday in a regulatory filing that the company was critically short of capital and didn't believe it could stay in business.
In April, the federal Office of Thrift Supervision said the company had engaged in "unsafe and unsound" banking practices and ordered it to raise fresh capital, find a buyer or face a takeover by the government.
Guaranty's failure, along with those of three small banks in Georgia and Alabama Friday, brought to 81 the number of U.S. bank failures this year amid rising loan defaults spurred by tumbling home prices and spiking unemployment. That is the highest number in a year since 1992 at the height of the savings and loan crisis; it compares with 25 last year and three in 2007.
Last week the FDIC seized Colonial Bank, a big lender in real estate development, and sold its $20 billion in deposits, 346 branches in five states and about $22 billion of its assets to BB&T Corp. It was the biggest bank failure so far this year, and the sixth-largest in U.S. history.
My Way News - Large Texas bank shut down by federal regulators