Bank closure part of larger state oversight program

State commerce officials say they continue to closely monitor banks for any signs of financial problems.

Commerce officials have a watch list with 65 banks that need extra attention because they have problems ranging from minor to serious ones. Over the weekend, the commerce department closed Horizon Bank in Pine City. Stearns Bank, based in St. Cloud, has now acquired and re-opened Horizon Bank.

Kevin Murphy, deputy commissioner of the commerce department, says the 65 banks on the watch list make up about 20 percent of total number of state chartered banks.

"The flip side of that would be 80 percent of the banks are not on the watch list and in satisfactory condition, so I'd say in general the condition of the banks is good but not as good as they were a couple of years ago."

Murphy says he anticipates most of these troubled banks will survive their problems, with the possibility of one or two closing in the future.

As the economic downtown continues, Murphy says he sees more stress and difficulty among community banks.

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