A new round of watchdog reports says the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. could have been tougher in regulating three community banks that later closed.

The agency's inspector general on Jan. 6 released reviews of the failures of $974 million-asset Cooperative Bank in Wilmington, N.C.; $380 million-asset Southern Community Bank in Fayetteville, Ga., and $75 million-asset MetroPacific Bank in Irvine, Calif. All three reports said the FDIC could have taken enforcement action more quickly after risks emerged at the institutions, which had high concentrations of construction loans.

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