Poor loan performance in other sectors also continued to hurt banks, with the total number of loans at least three months past due climbing for the 16th consecutive quarter, FDIC officials said in a briefing on Thursday.
There were 702 on the FDIC's "problem" bank list at the end of 2009 and 252 at the end of 2008.
FDIC officials said they expected the number of failed banks to peak this year after climbing steadily over the past three years. Regulators have shut 72 banks so far this year, more than double the number closed by this time last year. Ms. Bair said regulators were preparing for a steady pace of additional closures through the end of the year. A total of 237 banks have failed since the beginning of 2008.
The failures continue to strain the FDIC's fund to protect consumer deposits, although officials signaled they were confident they had enough cash on hand to deal with the expected spate of failures, without having to assess new fees on the banking industry. The agency's deposit insurance fund stood at negative-$20.7 billion at the end of the first quarter, a slight improvement from the end of 2009.
"We have the necessary industry-funded resources to complete the cleanup," Ms. Bair said, in a reference to the fees that the agency assesses on banks for insuring their deposits.