WASHINGTON - More banks failed in 1999 than in any of the last four years, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. says 2000 could be even worse.

Seven banks and one thrift have failed in 1999, making this year the agency's worst since 1995. But another 12 institutions, and possibly as many as 22, are expected to fail next year, Frederick S. Selby, the FDIC's finance director, told the agency's board on Tuesday.

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