Commonwealth Thrift and Loan, Torrance, Calif., failed Friday, bringing the tally of bank failures this year to five.

Commonwealth, with $13.1 million in assets, was the first bank in California to fail this year.

Frontier State Bank, Redondo Beach, Calif., is assuming $10.8 million in about 370 deposit accounts from Commonwealth. Frontier also is buying $1.4 million of the failed bank's assets.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will sell the bank's remaining $11.7 million in assets. The agency estimates Commonwealth's failure will cost the Bank Insurance Fund $1.4 million, bringing the fund's total costs from bank failures in 1996 to $24.4 million.

At this time last year, six banks had failed, causing an estimated loss of $104.4 million to the bank fund.

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