Far fewer banks failed in 2012 than in 2011, and the FDIC has made especially little news over the last couple of months.
Just one bank failed in the entire country in December — and only three failed in November. (Click here for the complete list of failed banks.) Georgia still leads the nation in bank failures since the housing bust, but it seems that a large majority of the state’s troubled banks will survive. Still, it’s worth noting that there about 70 Georgia institutions on the unofficial problem bank list published by Calculated Risk.
So we will certainly see more failures, and I’m guessing that we’ll see more federal prosecutions of officers of failed banks.
From the Savannah Morning News’ First National Bank of Savannah officers indicted in multimillion-dollar fraud:
The former president and six other officers of First National Bank of Savannah were indicted by a federal grand jury, accused of defrauding First National Bank and other banks out of millions of dollars.
The long-running scheme allegedly contributed to the failure of First National Bank in 2010, which will cost the FDIC deposit-insurance fund more than $90 million, according to a press release from the Department of Justice’s Southern District of Georgia.
Former president and CEO Heys Edward McMath III has been charged, along with six other officers. All seven have been indicted for bank fraud and conspiracy, among other charges.
As I have been saying for several years now, one would hope (dream?) that Georgia lawmakers would take a hard look at how state regulations and enforcement — or the lack thereof — might have contributed to what a friend of mine calls the “wild west lending” of the housing boom.