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Professional Liability Program

Last Updated: May 22, 2023


The purpose of the FDIC professional liability program is to recover funds for FDIC receiverships and to hold accountable directors, officers, and professionals who caused losses to insured depository institutions (“IDIs”) that are later placed in FDIC receivership. From 1986 through 2022, the FDIC and the former Resolution Trust Corporation ("RTC")** recovered $10.52 billion from professional liability claims and spent $2.51 billion to fund all investigations and litigation. Of the total recoveries, $4.44 billion was recovered since the start of the last financial crisis in 2008 through 2022, with $1.11 billion spent.

Professional Liability Program 1986-2022

Failed IDIs Recoveries Expenses
2,629 $10.52 billion $2.51 billion

Professional Liability Program: 2008-2022

Failed IDIs Recoveries Expenses Settlements
536 $4.44 billion $1.11 billion Professional Liability Settlement Agreements

Professional Liability Program: Comparing the Two Crises

Dates Failed IDIs % Failed IDIs With D&O Claims % Failed IDIs With Claims of Any Type Recoveries Expenses
1986-1992 1,970 24% Not Available $2.17 billion $623.20 million
2008-2013 489 41% 52% $1.40 billion $617.60 million

Professional Liability Program: Post 2008 Crisis

Dates Failed IDIs % Failed IDIs With D&O Claims % Failed IDIs With Any Claim Recoveries Expenses
2014-2022 47 13% 19% $3.04 billion $487.71 million

Professional Liability Program Matters: Year-End 2022

Failed IDIs With Open Investigation/Litigation Open Investigations Pending Lawsuits
26 2 15

In addition to recovering funds, the program’s existence also enhances industry awareness of sound corporate governance standards. The FDIC conducts a thorough investigation into potential professional liability claims arising from every IDI failure but pursues claims only if they are both meritorious and expected to be cost-effective.

All lawsuits are reviewed by senior FDIC managers and, with limited exceptions, are approved by the FDIC Board of Directors. Prior to filing a lawsuit, staff in most cases will attempt to settle with the responsible parties. Professional Liability Program Settlement Agreements entered into since 2007 are publicly available. Litigation is initiated if a settlement cannot be reached. Attorneys in the Legal Division may engage outside counsel to assist with the investigation and litigation of professional liability matters. However, whether outside counsel is involved or not, attorneys in the Legal Division manage all legal assignments and litigation and oversee settlement and litigation strategy. The FDIC’s in-house attorneys are always available to discuss all aspects of litigation and settlement.

Further information on the FDIC's professional liability activities is available in Professional Liability Program Annual Reports, the FDIC's Statement Concerning the Responsibilities of Bank Directors and Officers, Chapter 11 of Managing the Crisis: The FDIC and RTC Experience; and Legal Claims and Administrative Enforcement Proceedings 2008-2013 Banking Crisis.

** The RTC was created by Congress in August 1989 to resolve savings and loan associations insured by the former Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation.  At the end of 1995, the RTC ceased operation and its activities were absorbed by the FDIC.  During its existence, the RTC resolved 747 savings and loans.