Regulators shut 4 small banks in 3 states

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Regulators on Friday shut down four small banks in three states, boosting to 55 the number of U.S. bank failures this year.

The overall pace of closures, however, has slowed this year as banks work their way through piles of bad debt. A slow, but improving U.S. economy also has helped stem the number of bank casualties this year. By this time last year, regulators had closed 96 banks.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized High Trust Bank in Stockbridge, Ga., One Georgia Bank in Atlanta, First Peoples Bank in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and Summit Bank in Prescott, Ariz.

The action brings to 16 the number of lenders to collapse this year in Georgia. In Florida, the tally is now seven, while in Arizona it's now two.

High Trust had about $192.5 million in assets and $189.5 million in deposits, while One Georgia had about $186.3 million in assets and $162.1 million in deposits. First Peoples had about $228.3 million in assets and $209.7 million in deposits.

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