The number of "troubled' banks rose a steep 40 percent in the United States during the first three months of this year.
U.S. officials who watch over banks at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation say the number of banks with problems rose to a total of 305 from the last few months of 2008.
The recession is hurting banks by raising losses from home mortgages, commercial real estate loans, credit cards and other kinds of loans.
The 300 troubled banks are a fraction of the more than 8,000 banks in the United States. Officials said over the years about one out of 10 troubled banks eventually fails, but government insurance protects depositors from loss.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.