Bank Failures, Acquisitions Slowing Down

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Apr. 8, 2013 12:00 am  

The flood of FDIC-assisted bank acquisitions that Johnny Allison once called a “generational opportunity” for his Home BancShares Inc. of Conway has slowed to a trickle.

Only four U.S. banks failed during the first quarter of 2013 — one each in Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota and Washington.

While past performance is no guarantee, that’s the slowest pace since the first quarter of 2008.

And the first quarters of the past three years have been pretty good indicators of bank failures throughout the rest of the year.

For instance, 16 of the 51 banks that failed in 2012 did so in the first quarter.

It’s also notable that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. hasn’t entered any loss-share transactions with the acquirers of banks this year. The favorable loss-share deals had become standard by mid-2009, but were on their way out by late 2012. Home BancShares’ Centennial Bank didn’t have a loss-share transaction in its deal to acquire Heritage Bank of Florida when it failed in November.

So how did Arkansas make out during the bank failure crisis?

Of the 469 banks that were shut down between January 2008 and March 2013, only two were in Arkansas: ANB Financial of Bentonville in May 2008 and First Southern Bank of Batesville in December 2010.

And that’s great compared with Georgia (85) or Florida (66).

Those two states account for almost a third of the bank failures since the beginning of 2008.

But 10 states and the District of Columbia have had no bank failures in that time, and six states have had only one failure. Arkansas’ two failures are tied with Iowa, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Ten states had double-digit bank failures. Following Georgia and Florida were Illinois (56), California (39) and Minnesota (22).

But Arkansas lenders fared very well as buyers:

  • Centennial, seven banks, all based in Florida;
  • Bank of the Ozarks of Little Rock, five in Georgia and one in Florida;
  • Simmons First National Bank of Pine Bluff, three in Missouri and one in Kansas;
  • Arvest Bank of Fayetteville, SolutionsBank of Overland Park, Kan.; and
  • The former Pulaski Bank & Trust of Little Rock, now IberiaBank, pieces of ANB Financial.

 

 

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