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Do I Need to Know If My Bank Is Healthy?
If you've ever wondered about the health of your banking institution, here are answers to some common questions that can help give you peace of mind.
Should I be concerned about the health of an FDIC-insured bank or savings institution where I have deposits?
If your deposits are within the FDIC's insurance limits, as is the case for most bank customers, those deposits are safe regardless of the financial condition of your bank. Here's why.
First, the FDIC's guarantee — that we will protect against the loss of insured deposits if an FDIC-insured bank or savings associations fails — is ironclad. Since the creation of the FDIC 75 years ago, we have handled the failure of more than 2,200 insured depository institutions and "no one has ever lost so much as a penny of FDIC-insured deposits — not a single penny," said FDIC Chairman Sheila C. Bair.
Depositors at a failed bank also get quick access to their insured funds — usually by the next business day after the institution closes (see What Happens If a Bank Fails?).
"The banking system in this country remains on solid footing through the guarantees provided by FDIC insurance," said Chairman Bair. "The overwhelming majority of banks in this country are safe and sound, and the chances that your own bank could fail are remote. However, if that does happen, the FDIC will be there — as always — to protect your insured deposits."
Added Kathleen Nagle, FDIC Associate Director for Consumer Protection, "The bottom line is that bank customers who keep all of their deposits within the federal insurance limits can rest assured with the knowledge that their deposits — principal and interest — are 100 percent safe."
What if some of my deposits are over the FDIC's insurance limits?
Deposits above the FDIC's coverage limits may be at risk if the bank fails. To make sure all your deposits are fully protected, consult with the FDIC or your bank and, if necessary, make adjustments to bring your accounts within the federal insurance limits. See FDIC Insurance: How Can I Be Sure I'm Fully Insured? for more about your options.
For information about what depositors can expect if they have uninsured deposits at a failed bank, see What Happens If a Bank Fails?.
If I want information about my bank's health, where can I go?
There are private companies that provide their own ratings and opinions of FDIC-insured banks and savings associations, often for a fee.
If you don't have access to the Internet at your home or office, your local library or a friend or relative with Internet access can print out the list for you.
Last Updated 12/16/2008