Seven banks failed yesterday, the most on a single day since the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was created during the Great Depression, an FDIC spokesman said.
Banks are failing this year at a record rate. So far, with yesterday's closings, 43 banking institutions have been shuttered in 1985 -- more than half the 1984 record of 79 failures. At the current rate, more than 100 banks would close in 1985.
Four of the banks closed yesterday were small Nebraska banks owned by an Omaha businessman, Roger Voorhees. The others were located in Arkansas, Minnesota and Oregon.
Nebraska State Banking Director Roger Beverage said all four failures were directly related to agricultural loans. FDIC officials said they knew that Bank of Taylor would fail yesterday, but said they were surprised by the closing of the other three banks owned by Voorhees -- although they said the banks were having severe difficulties.
Beverage told The Associated Press that all four banks were within about 10 miles of one another. "We knew if we closed one it would start a run on the others and, given the situation at all three banks, it was clear that this action was warranted."
As is normal in most bank failures, the FDIC took over the institutions. The agency said the Bank of Taylor will reopen Monday morning as a branch of Union Bank & Trust Co. of Lincoln, Neb. FDIC spokesman Alan Whitney said it probably will take until Sunday for the agency to determine whether it will find purchasers for the other three central Nebraska banks controlled by Voorhees -- Security State Bank of Edgar, Scroggin & Co. Bank in Oak, and Fairfield State Bank in Fairfield.
Bank of Taylor had about $12.2 million in deposits, which were assumed by Union Bank. The FDIC did not know the size of the other three Voorhees banks.
The Bank of Oregon in Woodburn, a mutual savings bank with $101 million in deposits, was closed yesterday. It was acquired by the Alaska Pacific Bancorp of Anchorage, which will reopen it Monday. The Anchorage company already owns two banks with combined assets of about $550 million, the FDIC said.
The Bank of Lockesburg in Lockesburg, Ark., was closed and then sold to a newly chartered bank with the same name that will reopen it Monday. Bank of Lockesburg has deposits of $24.5 million, the FDIC said.
First Trust Bank of Lakefield, Minn., was closed yesterday and its $20.4 million of insured deposits were transferred to the Fulda State Bank. The FDIC said there was about $197,000 in uninsured deposits in the failed bank that Fulda did not asssume. These depositors will become general creditors of First Trust's estate, the FDIC said.