The three states that have led the nation in bank failures over the last four years — Georgia, Florida and Illinois — remain home to the banks that are most in danger of failing down the road, according to new data compiled by Thomson Reuters.
At March 31, 155 of the nation's banks and thrifts were considered to be undercapitalized, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters for TheStreet.com.
Georgia, where 76 institutions have failed since late 2007, had the most undercapitalized banks, with 28, followed by Florida, with 20, and Illinois, with 15. In the three states combined 183 banks have failed since the onset of the financial crisis.
Most of the undercapitalized banks, which TheStreet.com calls its "watch list," have less than $1 billion of assets, and the all have high levels of nonperforming loans. The largest institution on the list is the $1.4 billion-asset U.S. Century Bank in Miami and the smallest is the $12 million-asset Community Bank of Shell Knob in Missouri. For a complete list of the banks, click here.
How many of the banks will ultimately fail remains to be seen. Some will survive on their own by raising additional capital or selling off problem loans, while others are likely to be acquired by healthier banks. Indeed, at least one bank on watch list, the $47 million-asset Border Trust Company in August, Maine, recently announced that it was selling itself to Bar Harbor Bankshares (BHB).
Still, banks that are critically undercapitalized or have extremely high levels of problem loans will be challenged to raise capital or find buyers and could eventually be seized by their regulators. Eight banks and thrifts on the watch list have since failed.