FDIC places Indymac Bancorp in Conservatorship

Southern California’s IndyMac, one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, is the fifth bank to be taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) this year. Overall, the banking system appears to be in less danger now than it was in the late 1980s and early 1990s when about 1,000 federally insured institutions failed in the savings-and-loan debacle. “All bank depositors should understand that their insured deposits are safe,” says Sheila Bair, chairman of the FDIC. “The chance that your own bank will be taken over by the FDIC is extremely remote. And if that does happen, you will continue to have virtually uninterrupted access to your insured deposits. No bank depositor has ever lost a penny of insured deposits.”The FDIC insures deposits at about 8,500 banks and thrifts; insurances ranges to $100,000 per institution, $250,000 on some retirement accounts. It has $53 billion to reimburse customers for deposits lost in bank failures.IndyMac, a spin-off of Countrywide (CFC), was the largest American lender to fail in about 20 years; it’ll require at least $4 billion, if not $8 billion, to cover depositors’ losses. Bank of America (BAC) bought Countrywide this year in an all-stock deal valued at about $4 billion.
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