NC bank closing its doors

WILMINGTON Cape Fear Bank, formerly known as the Bank of Wilmington, was closed by state regulators and taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on Friday.

Cape Fear's failure comes less than two months after the bank announced it received a cease-and-desist order from the FDIC.

First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Charleston in Charleston, S.C. was chosen to assume all of Cape Fear Bank's $403 million in deposits and buy about $468 million of its $492 million in assets. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which was named receiver of Cape Fear Bank on Friday, will retain the rest of the assets to sell later.

On Monday, Cape Fear Bank's eight branches will reopen as First Federal branches.

"While I regret the loss of a North Carolina bank," said Commissioner of Banks Joseph A. Smith, Jr., "I am pleased that another financial institution will step in to provide uninterrupted banking services to the customers of Cape Fear, and that the depositors of Cape Fear will remain fully insured by the FDIC." Cape Fear Bank customers with questions regarding this transaction can contact the FDIC toll-free at 1-866-806-6128 or visit the FDIC Web site at

This year's tally so far of 23 bank failures is nearing the total for all of 2008, when 25 U.S. banks were seized by regulators. Two of the nation's largest savings and loans failed that year: Washington Mutual Inc. and IndyMac Corp.

Another Wilmington bank, Cooperative Bankshares, also received a cease-and-desist order from the FDIC in mid-March.

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