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FDIC shuts down 2 banks

Two banks operating in Nevada, Arizona and California – 1st National Bank of Nevada and First Heritage Bank N.A. – were closed Friday by federal regulators.

The 28 branches of the banks, owned by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based First National Bank Holding Co., were scheduled to reopen Monday as Mutual of Omaha Bank branches, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said.

The FDIC said the takeover of the failed banks was the least costly resolution and all depositors – including those with funds in excess of FDIC insurance limits – will switch to Mutual of Omaha with “the full amount of their deposits.”

The FDIC also said accountholders can access their funds during the weekend by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards.

Bill Uffelman of the Nevada Bankers Association said Friday the FDIC action “is a reflection of the times for the banks. It's a poor economy.”

Uffelman cautioned against the sort of consumer concern that prompted many customers of IndyMac Bank branches to wait for hours in line to withdraw funds across Southern California last week after that bank was seized by federal regulators. All FDIC-insured bank deposits are guaranteed by the FDIC up to $100,000, he noted.

Gov. Jim Gibbons said the bank takeover will be closely monitored in Nevada “to ensure there's minimal disruption to business and that employees' jobs are protected as much as possible.”

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano's spokeswoman Shilo Mitchell said in a statement that the FDIC's takeover of 1st National is not indicative of the overall banking climate in Arizona.

“It's very important that Arizonans know that their deposits are secure,” said Felecia Rotellini, superintendent of Arizona Department of Financial Institutions. “They are well-managed and the 1st National Bank of Arizona issues should not cause any panic in Arizona.”

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