More banks in the Southeast are likely to fall victim to the financial crisis, a Federal Reserve official said Friday.

"Conditions at community banks in the Southeast remained weak during the first quarter," said Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart. "As I look forward, more bank failures in the region are likely."

His remarks came in a speech to the Alabama Bankers Association's convention.

Lockhart described loan demand in the Southeast as "soft" and said banks there got into trouble because of excess concentration in real estate lending.

He also said the region probably has too many banks. "I believe new bank charters have been granted too liberally and the entry bar needs to be raised," he said.

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