5 crafty ways to spy on your bank

Bank failures rise in the recession
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In the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown, bank failures have become an all-too-common part of American life. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., 140 banks went under in 2009. The industry eclipsed that mark in 2010; 157 banks went under.

For consumers, it's only natural to wonder about the health of their bank. But how do you determine if your bank is at risk? The short answer is: you don't.

"Gauging a bank's vitality is really hard. It's something a lot of experts grapple with," says Harlan Platt, a Northeastern University finance professor. "But that doesn't mean your money is at risk."

In fact, it's easy for consumers to make sure they have zero exposure should their bank fail. And for those who want to do a little extra homework, there are other ways to minimize the effects of their bank failing.




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