The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over four more banks on Friday, bringing the January total to 11. But that's down from 15 in January 2010.
And the estimated cost to the bank insurance fund dropped even more dramatically. The FDIC estimated that the January failures last year would cost more than $3.2 billion. The estimate for the 11 banks that have failed so far this year is just over $1.2 billion.
This year's most expensive failure so far is the Jan. 21 closing of United Western Bank of Denver, which the FDIC estimates will cost $312.8 million. It was acquired by First-Citizens Bank and Trust of Raleigh, N.C.
The FDIC was unable to find buyers for two of the banks, FirsTier Bank of Louisville, Colo., which failed Friday, and Enterprise Banking Company. of McDonough, Ga., which was closed on Jan. 21. The FDIC will pay off the insured deposits in those cases.
In the other failures, the FDIC sold the deposits and most of the assets, entering into deals to share the losses on bad assets with the new owners.
Here is a complete list of 2011 bank failures from the Investigative Reporting Workshop's BankTracker project.