Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair said the agency has reduced its projection of the number of bank failures this year.

In a cable news interview Friday, Bair said that, though closures are still expected to exceed last year's total of 140, "the pace is slowing." "We do think things are improving," she said. "We think it will be more than 140" this year "but less than what we were projecting, for instance, three months ago."

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