WASHINGTON (7/31/09)--The number of bank failures during the first half of 2009 far outnumber credit unions that have closed or been put into conservatorship, according to statistics released by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). For the first six months of 2009, roughly 72 institutions--including seven banks from just last weekend--were either closed or taken over by regulators (Bank Info Security July 28). So far this year, failed banks total 64, which is more than double bank closures for the entire year of 2008, when 25 banks were shuttered. Troubled banks so far this year number 305, about double last year's total of 117. Total cost to FDIC's Insurance Fund is $13.553 billion. That compares with eight credit unions shuttered or put into conservatorship this year. That number is on pace with last year's numbers. In 2008, 15 credit unions were placed into conservatorship or were closed. The National Credit Union Administration did not report any impact to the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund for the eight credit union failures, the article said. Why so few credit union failures? Many aren't exposed to commercial real estate, like banks are, and most are more conservative in their underwriting of loans. Still, they are experiencing some collateral damage from members in financial difficulties due to the4 economy. All of the current bank closures are due to under capitalization or poor loan portfolio performance. And the number of institutions closing due to economic conditions, mortgage and other loan defaults is growing, said Bank Info Security. Studies of banks indicated they have been charging off bad commercial mortgages at the fastest pace in nearly 20 years. Losses at that pace could add up to $30 billion by year end. Many of the most troubled banks have heavy exposure to commercial real estate. The states with the most failures in banks are Georgia with 16 banks, Illinois with 12, California with eight and Florida with three bank failures. Three credit union failures were in hard-hit California. Other states with one credit union failure each are West Virginia, Kansas, Florida, Michigan and Alabama. An interactive map pinpoints where the closures have occurred. Use the link to access the map from bankinfosecurity.com.