Bank start-ups slowed to a trickle last year, and, if recent history (see graphic below) is a guide, it could be a while before they pick up again.

Thirty-eight charters were established in 2009 (including six that are no longer active), fewer than in more than 60 years. Start-ups nearly came to a standstill in the fourth quarter. Among the four charters established then that remain active, two were created by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in connection with bank failures, and one is a trust subsidiary of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.

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