What to expect from your failed bank

What if my bank fails?
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More than 150 American banks have failed this year as of Dec. 17, and more bank failures are expected as the financial crisis continues. But the government's takeover of a failed bank has been a standard operating procedure for some time.

"History is pretty clear," says Gary Evans, president and CEO of Palm Desert National Bank in Palm Desert, Calif. "Insured accounts are either paid out soon after a bank closes or the account is assumed by a purchasing bank. The FDIC website states that no insured account has ever lost money."

Even though the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., or FDIC, has developed a well-oiled process for taking over failed banks, the news of such a takeover can be disconcerting to the bank's customers. A failed bank doesn't mean your money is lost. But what can you expect?




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