WASHINGTON -- Two failed banks and a thrift in California were sold off to rivals last week.

Newport Beach's CommerceBank failed Friday after bleeding capital for a year and a half. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. sold the $157 million-asset bank to California State Bank for a premium of $380,000. Covina-based California State Bank will buy $82.5 million of the failed bank's assets, the FDIC said.

When CommerceBank failed, it had 176 accounts with more than $100,000, the federal insurance limit. The FDIC said $12.8 million was uninsured, but the board voted to advance 67% of uninsured claims to those accounts in anticipation of later recoveries.

Six Failures So Far This Year

Corona-based Western Community Bank, with $60.6 million of assets, failed Friday as well. Bank of San Bernadino assumed $38.6 million of Western Community's deposits.

With these two closings, six California banks have failed this year. The tally nationwide is 10.

Separately, the Resolution Trust Corp. announced Friday that it sold failed Guardian Federal Savings Association, Huntington Beach, to Home Savings of America in Irwindale.

Home Savings Pays Premium

Home Savings, the nation's largest thrift, paid a premium of $1.8 million for Guardian. It also will buy $9.8 million of the failed thrift's $186 million of assets.

The RTC said uninsured deposits at Guardian were nominal. It had $186 million of assets. The RTC expects this institution to cost the government $142.6 million.

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