Regulators closed down four banks – 1 each in Oklahoma and New York and 2 in Maryland – at a combined cost of nearly $160 million to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s insurance fund. The four brings this year’s total bank failures to 90 – a pace that is expected to surpass last year’s total of 140.

The U.S. government’s bailout program has been “critical” to restoring stability to the economy, keeping borrowing rates at historic lows and bolstering the banking system – although credit remains difficult to obtain for some consumers and businesses, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said today.

A Reno-based Nevada bank will cost the Federal Insurance Deposit Corp. nearly $81 million as the five-branch institution becomes the 83rd bank failure this year. All branches of Nevada Security Bank will reopen on Monday as branches of Umpqua Bank, of Roseburg, Oregon.

A Seattle bank hobbled by faltering commercial real estate loans became the 82nd U.S. bank failure this year, costing the insurance fund of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. more than $158 million. The deposits of Washington First International were assumed by East West Bank, of Pasadena, California.

At a total estimated cost to its insurance fund of $317 million, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. shut down five more banks – bringing this year’s total to 78 bank failures.
Three banks in Florida, one in Nevada and one in California held a total of $1.945 billion in assets.

Pinehurst Bank in St. Paul, Minnesota became the 73rd bank failure this year – one of a string of neighborhood banks throughout the country unable to survive faltering loans and slumping demand for credit. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. expects the rate of bank closures to peak later this year, and it reported some encouraging signs in the overall banking industry’s recovery with its first quarter results released Thursday.

The number of insured commercial banks and savings institutions on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s “Problem List” jumped from 702 to 775 during the first quarter, with their total assets increasing from $403 billion to $431 billion. However, the FDIC reported overall “positive signs of recovery” in the banking industry in its first quarter 2010 report released today.

Four more failing banks were closed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in the past week, bringing this year’s total to 68. Through April, the rate of failures is more than twice of last year’s – 64 banks compared to 28 in 2009. All of last year saw 140 closures, the most since 1992.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation seized seven more banks this week, with three in Puerto Rico representing 30 percent of that island’s deposits, possibly the largest share of a single market affected since the savings and loan crisis 20 years ago. The seven failures bring this year’s total bank closures to 64, a faster pace than in 2009 when 140 were seized.