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(credit: Paul Hilton/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Regulators have closed a small bank in The Woodlands, bringing the number of U.S. bank failures to 24 this year.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Friday it has taken over Texas Community Bank NA.

The lender, which operated two branches, had about $160.1 million in assets and $142.6 million in deposits as of Sept. 30.

Spirit of Texas Bank SSB, based in College Station, agreed to assume all of Texas Community Bank’s deposits and to buy $147.9 million of the failed bank’s assets.

The FDIC is retaining the remaining assets for later disposition.

The failure of Texas Community Bank is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund $10.8 million.

The lender is the second FDIC-insured institution to fail in Texas this year. In September, it shuttered First National Bank, based in Edinburg.

U.S. bank failures have been declining since they peaked in 2010 in the wake of the financial crisis and the Great Recession.

In 2007, only three banks went under. That number jumped to 25 in 2008, after the financial meltdown, and ballooned to 140 in 2009.

In 2010, regulators seized 157 banks, the most in any year since the savings and loan crisis two decades ago. The FDIC has said 2010 likely was the high-water mark for bank failures from the recession. They declined to a total of 92 in 2011.

Last year, bank failures slowed to 51 — still more than normal. In a strong economy, an average of four or five banks close annually.

The sharply reduced pace of bank closings shows sustained improvement.

From 2008 through 2011, bank failures cost the deposit insurance fund an estimated $88 billion, and the fund fell into the red in 2009. With failures slowing, the fund’s balance turned positive in the second quarter of 2011.

The fund had a $40.8 billion balance as of Sept. 30, up from $37.9 billion at the end of June.

The FDIC has said it expects bank failures from 2012 through 2016 will cost the fund $10 billion.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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