The expanding state role comes as Chavez continues to accuse his opponents of trying to provoke panicked withdrawals from banks to harm his government.

The government has been absorbing losses at some of the closed banks, including more than $43 million in losses at Bolivar, Central Bank and Confederado before regulators took over management.

Five other small banks where authorities have intervened recently, remain closed: Canarias, Real, ProVivienda (BanPro), Baninvest Banca de Inversion and BaNorte.